CDC releases new warning about contracting norovirus

(WXYZ) - The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is out with a new warning about norovirus and the places you're most likely to contract it.

Norovirus is the most common cause of food poisoning, infecting about 20 million people every year.

Even though norovirus is most commonly associated with cruises, ship passengers only account for about one percent of cases each year.

People are most likely to contract the virus from the food and restaurant industry, according to the CDC.

Health leaders say 70 percent of outbreaks are caused by people who handle food, like cooks and wait staff.

It's most likely spread by infected people who don't wash their hands properly.

The CDC found 90 percent of norovirus contamination happens during the food preparation process, and about three-quarters of cases are linked to consuming raw food.

The CDC says food industry workers who show symptoms of norovirus should be required to stay home, but many decide to go to work anyway.

The study found 20 percent of restaurant employees, who had symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, still showed up to work. Many said they were afraid they'd lose their job or leave co-workers short-staffed if they called in sick.

The CDC is now calling on the food and restaurant industry to make changes in business practices. Health leaders are asking companies to provide more paid sick leave for workers and to keep more workers on-call to fill in if someone needs to stay home.

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