Viruses, such as Norovirus, are very contagious and therefore spread rapidly causing significant food borne outbreaks. Symptoms are predominantly vomiting and diarrhea with a typical incubation period of 12- 24 hours. Unlike bacteria, viruses do not multiply in food, and infectious doses are rather small (10-100 viral particles), meaning that it doesn’t take much to cause an illness. Sick food handlers can spread the virus in a number of ways including lack of hand washing, sneezing, and coughing. Viral shedding can even occur up to 2 weeks after initial symptoms have worn off. So, as a food handler, if you’re sick, stay home, stop spreading the love.
Lindsey Connell from WTVM reports that basic trainees at Sand Hill on Fort Benning endure rigorous training every day but a recent outbreak is stopping some in their tracks.
On Thursday, officials reported that 150 soldiers have come down with what they suspect is a food borne virus.
Common areas likes dining halls, barracks and buses are being sterilized, down to chairs and banisters.
The 150 sick soldiers have been isolated in separate barracks to stop the spread of the illness.
Public Affairs officials say 300 soldiers have reported to sick call over the past two days but only half actually have the gastrointestinal virus. The sickness lasts one to two days and causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Officials suspect it was spread by a food handler who was sick and coughed on the food or had dirty hands.