Thursday, February 22, 2018

1982 Norwalk virus (Norovirus) outbreaks in Twin Cities

Viruses have the potential to be a leading cause of foodborne disease. In 1982 there were two exceptionally outbreaks of food-associated Norwalk virus gastroenteritis which took place in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

During the course of 1 week in August 1982, four outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis associated with separate social events were reported. Virus infected food handlers contaminated buttercream cakes frosting (from single bakery as the source of the outbreak), which later spread on pastries and salads at catered banquets. The contaminated foods lead to two large outbreaks. At least 3000 people were made ill in the first outbreak and at least 2000 in the second outbreak.

All implicated cakes used frosting made by one bakery worker who was ill with vomiting and diarrhea during his work shift.

Since then, Norwalk-like calicivirus have been recognized to be most common cause of foodborne disease outbreaks, accounting for 41% of all confirmed foodborne outbreaks in Minnesota from 1981-1998. 1982
Norwalk virus (Norovirus) outbreaks in Twin Cities
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