If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Yes! The lab is required to report a norovirus positive result to the health department, and since it’s so incredibly contagious and most major outbreaks include restaurants, you can basically guarantee that the health department will pay you a visit. Start daily wellness checks for your employees for the next few days, exclude anyone with GI symptoms, and do a thorough cleaning of your restaurant in advance of the inspection. Pull your most recent inspection report and make sure to address any violations you’ve previously been cited for. Double-check all handwashing-related items, as well, like making sure there’s soap in the dispensers, paper towels for drying hands, hot water in the sinks, and nothing blocking handwashing sinks. That’s because handwashing violations are of particular concern when norovirus might be spreading.
In other parts of the world, an oral polio vaccine is used which contains a live, weakened version of the virus. In some rare cases, the virus can mutate and may spread to others who aren’t fully vaccinated, especially in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation or overcrowding. Most of the cases found from vaccine-derived strains are in Africa right now. In 2021, a newer, safer version of the oral vaccine was rolled out, which should help to reduce vaccine-derived polio across the world. In the US, we use a different polio vaccine without live virus, so our risk here is more about unvaccinated travelers who pick this up abroad, or for those who received the oral vaccine in their childhood in another country who pass it to unvaccinated people once they arrive in the US. This isn’t something widespread in the US, and the best course of action is to ensure that you and your children are vaccinated against polio.
MRSA is a bacteria that causes a staph infection that’s drug-resistant and can sometimes be severe, even requiring hospitalization. Even if a family member or housemate has a diagnosed MRSA infection, your employee can almost certainly continue to work since MRSA only spreads through skin-to-skin contact when both parties have open wounds. Unless that’s happened, your employee should be in the clear.