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Shinjuku City Official Website > Foreign Language Top Page > Insurance, Health Maintenance and Welfare > Beware of Norovirus Food Poisoning and Infectious Stomach Flu

Beware of Norovirus Food Poisoning and Infectious Stomach Flu

Although cases of norovirus food poisoning and infectious stomach flu occur year-round, they are particularly rampant during winter.
Norovirus is transmitted orally via foods, hands or fingers. It multiplies in the human intestinal tract, leading to vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. Although healthy people with mild cases usually recover, complications arise with children and the elderly, since vomit may accidentally enter and clog their respiratory tract, leading to death. No vaccines are available for norovirus; the only method of care is to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
It is a good idea to learn about the infection routes of this disease (shown below) and practice proper handwashing and other preventive measures to avoid norovirus.

Norovirus Infection Routes

【Route 1】
Human waste containing norovirus is transported as sewage from rivers to the sea, and accumulates in the inner organs of clams. Infection occurs when contaminated clams are eaten raw or without being heated sufficiently (food poisoning).

【Route 2】
When a person infected with norovirus does not wash his/her hands properly and prepares food, the food becomes contaminated. Anyone eating these foods will become infected (food poisoning).

【Route 3】
A person can become infected if the virus enters his/her mouth through contaminated hands after handling human waste or vomit containing norovirus, or from any virus remaining on surfaces after improper handling (infectious stomach flu).

【Route 4】
A person can become infected through droplet infection if people (such as family members or people living together in a joint facility) have frequent contact with each other (infectious stomach flu).

Inquiries concerning infectious diseases Health Consultation Section, Public Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Division
Tel: 03-5273-3862

Norovirus Prevention Measures

■ Be sure to wash your hands before touching foods directly to prepare them, before meals, and after using the toilet.
■ If you have symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, do not handle foods directly.
■ If you have contact with a stomach flu patient, make sure you dispose of the patient’s waste and/or vomit properly to prevent the disease from spreading.
■ If you have low immunity, prepare foods that require thorough heating (90 seconds or more at 85 to 90℃ at the center) before eating.
■ Wash and disinfect cooking utensils thoroughly with hot water or a household chlorine-based bleach) after use.

Inquiries Food Sanitation Section, Sanitation Division (Shinjuku City Office, New Wing in Annex 2, 3F)
Tel: 03-5273-3827 
Fax: 03-3209-1441

November 25, 2020