The Los Angeles County Health Department has confirmed a food poisoning outbreak on USC’s campus. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, more than 100 students have been sickened by norovirus, a gastrointestinal virus. The virus is spreading across the dorms like wildfire, health officials say. University health center officials say the cases are reducing now that they have stepped up sanitation efforts and staff training. The steps the university has taken include intensified cleaning of the residence halls and dining venues and staff training on additional precautionary measures.
Students have been advised to wash their hands often especially after using the restroom and cafeteria workers have been advised to rinse fruits and vegetables especially lettuce. Officials are also telling them to use chlorine bleach solutions to clean potentially infected surfaces such as computer keyboards or phones; wash and dry affected clothing; and avoid contact or sharing food with those infected. Students who are sick have been urged to avoid going to class until they have been cleared of all symptoms for at least 24 hours.
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can infect anyone. You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This often leads to symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms can be serious for some people, especially young children and older adults. A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within one to three days.
If You Have Been Affected
Norovirus could spread through food at restaurants or through infected people in areas such as cruise ships. In fact, it is also known as “the cruise ship virus” because it is so prevalent on cruise ships. Whether you contract the virus at a restaurant, cafeteria or on a cruise ship, you may be eligible to receive compensation to cover your losses. Those who manufacture or prepare food are required to do so with utmost care and in a manner that is safe for consumers.
When food poisoning outbreaks are caused by negligence, affected victims can seek compensation from the at-fault parties for their injuries, damages and losses. Victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of diagnostic tests, pain and suffering and emotional distress. They would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles food poisoning lawyer who will help ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.