Metro Atlanta restaurants are on high alert after Fulton County health officials issued a norovirus warning on Tuesday.
"There are 20 people that we have definitely been able to link to these specific outbreaks. I would anticipate that is a very tiny tip of a very large iceberg," said Fulton County Medical Director Dr. Matthew McKenna.
The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness has investigated nearly two dozen cases of norovirus during the past three weeks. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
"Please note that no restaurant in Fulton County has been identified as being the source of any of these outbreaks we have investigated," said Fulton County Health Director Dr. Patrice Harris.
Health officials warn the norovirus can be easily transmitted by touching a contaminated surface or by eating food or drinking liquids that contain the virus.
"Of the cases of norovirus, according to the CDC, only around 8 percent generate from restaurants, and that was from the 2010 to 2011 period," said Kelly Hornbuckle with the Georgia Restaurant Association.
Health officials are still asking restaurateurs to use proper food handling techniques to prevent any further spread of the virus. They want food handlers to wear gloves and wash their hands frequently.
"A virus is a virus. You can catch it at an airport, a restaurant, a bathroom or anywhere, so all I've heard is that Purell doesn't work anymore and you've got to use soap and water and wash your hands often," said restaurant patron Chris Johnson.
There is no specific treatment for the norovirus. However, if you get it you should drink plenty of liquids.
The CDC recommends that employees of food service establishments remain vigilant in executing the following procedures.
-Do not prepare food while sick or three days after the illness ends. -Wash hands carefully and frequently with soap and water. -Wash fruits and vegetables and cook shellfish thoroughly. -Clean and disinfect kitchen utensils, counters and surfaces that may have norovirus on them. -Wash table linens, napkins and other laundry thoroughly.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:29 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:29:17 GMT
Family friends and classmates were distraught and angry at a candlelight vigil on Friday night for a 15-year-old who was killed over his iPad. Marcos Arenas died Thursday night when two male suspectsMore >
Family, friends and classmates were distraught and angry at a candlelight vigil on Friday night for a 15-year-old who was killed over his iPad.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Thursday, February 21 2013 3:40 PM EST2013-02-21 20:40:03 GMT
A woman arrested Tuesday was seen engaging in sexual acts with a pit bull while outside in a backyard and in view of neighbors, Las Vegas Metro police said. Metro Wednesday released the report describingMore >
A Las Vegas woman was arrested Tuesday after authorities caught her having sex with a pit bull in her back yard, according to Metro police.More >
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:29 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:29:19 GMT
The winning numbers for the Powerball $600 million jackpot are in and folks from all over Southern Nevada drove to Arizona and California to get their tickets and try to win big. On Saturday there wereMore >
The winning numbers for the Powerball $600 million jackpot are in and folks from all over Southern Nevada drove to Arizona and California to get their tickets and try to win big.More >
Thursday, May 9 2013 1:21 AM EDT2013-05-09 05:21:00 GMT
Holly Madison and January Jones are just two celebrities who admitted to consuming their placentas after giving birth. More >
Holly Madison and January Jones are just two celebrities who admitted to consuming their placentas after giving birth. They join a growing number of moms taking part in this trend and say there are many benefits to the practice. More >
Inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation's highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards, according to a new federal report based on surveys of inmates at...More >
Inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation's highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards, according to a new federal report based on surveys of inmates at U.S. jails.More >