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.
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 >
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:23:41 GMT
The National Weather Service says there is a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.The threat for severe weather will continue into Monday.StormsMore >
The National Weather Service said there is a moderate risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 4:52 PM EDT2013-05-17 20:52:00 GMT
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.She is recovering at Children's Mercy Hospital with a broken arm, ruptured ear drum and fractured pelvis. Her family isMore >
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 6:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:47:09 GMT
Imagine suffering a medical emergency in a foreign country, half a world away. It happened to a man from Overland Park, KS, in Japan. Now, his family is trying to come up with a way to get him home whereMore >
An Overland Park family is trying to raise enough money to get their son back to the U.S. from Japan after he suffered a massive stroke in the other country.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:20:10 GMT
The Rachael Ray show flew to New York a puppy that survived a month inside a locked car at Kansas City's tow lot.Ray and guest co-host Regis Philbin fawned over Kia, who was accompanied by Tori Fugate,More >
Television hosts Rachael Ray and Regis Philbin fawned this week over a puppy rescued earlier this month after living nearly a month inside a locked vehicle at Kansas City's municipal impound lot.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 3:19 PM EDT2013-05-18 19:19:04 GMT
A Kansas City woman behind a new youth literacy program celebrated a milestone Friday night and none too soon. Jean Rundle is suffering from a heart condition and in quickly declining health. She neverMore >
A Kansas City woman behind a new youth literacy program celebrated a milestone Friday night and none too soon.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:11 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:11:46 GMT
Students from a suburban Kansas City school district will be nearly 600 pounds lighter when they return Friday from the spring semester at a weight-loss boarding school in South Carolina. That amountMore >
Students from the Independence School District were 600 pounds lighter when they returned Friday from the spring semester at a weight-loss boarding school in South Carolina.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 12:47 AM EDT2013-05-18 04:47:49 GMT
For the first time, the University of Kansas awarded two Wounded Warrior Scholarships. The money, of $10,000/year for up to four years, goes to students who are injured veterans or caretakers of injuredMore >
A young marine from Kansas City, KS, was one of two recipients of the University of Kansas' new Wounded Warrior Scholarship.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 2:21 PM EDT2013-05-17 18:21:35 GMT
A woman is in custody after she allegedly struck her father in the head with a pistol, Overland Park police said Friday.The woman, who is in her middle 20s, was taken into custody about 11 a.m. This wasMore >
A woman is in custody after she allegedly struck her father in the head with a pistol, Overland Park police said Friday.More >