Virus May Be to Blame for Food-Related Illness - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/18/07

Virus May Be to Blame for Food-Related Illness

A Norovirus may be the culprit for making at least 40 people sick in the Coastal Empire.

Health officials believe the food-borne illness came from an unnamed catering company which served several different group luncheons at the beginning of last week. They say the bacteria may have been in a salad.

"The health department has gone out to inspect the kitchens where the food was prepared, inspect the caterer, their procedures," said Dr. Diane Weems, Director of the Chatham County Health Department. "At this point, we don't have any reason to believe there should be any new infections."

The good news is that  those who became ill have all recovered.

A Norovirus is the most commonly recognized food-borne infection caused by a certain bacteria. The virus is spread from an infected person who can contaminate salad, or a sandwich, which would not be cooked before consumption.

Here are some of the symptoms of the Norovirus:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fever

These can either occur right away , or up to 48 hours after eating a tainted food.

If you believe you may have food poisoning, contact your primary care physician first. You can also call the Chatham County Health Department's Environmental Health office at 912.356.2160.

Reported by: Melanie A. Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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