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E Coli and Norovirus Safety

E Coli is normally caused by undercooking beef and/or chicken,  unsanitary conditions of the kitchen or those preparing food.  By cleaning up cutting boards and preparation tables, fully cooking the meat, and/or washing of hands frequently by the kitchen staff throughout the preparation periods, and proper hand washing by food preparers after using the restroom.  It may also be introduced through the water system if the system has a weakness, leak or E Coli from neighboring farms, or camp sanitation facilities are not kept separate from water sources or distribution systems.  This is not contagious from person to person except through contact with infected material and ingested.   Units, and individuals taking merit badge classes or cooking their own food must also be trained to properly handle, cook, and cleanup especially if cooking ground beef or any raw chicken.

Norovirus is generally introduced by campers who already have the virus.  It is spread by bodily fluids, and contact.  It is highly infectious, and individuals are infectious 3 to 5 days after the symptoms which are �explosive� discharges from the body (Throwing up and diarrhea).  All discharges are contagious, and must be cleaned up with chlorine disinfectants carefully by individuals protecting themselves.   Individuals with Norovirus should immediately be sent home if initially entering camp, or isolated from contact with others except care givers who should also protect themselves.  Frequent handwashing by campers, leaders and staff should be strongly encouraged routinely, and especially if Norovirus is suspected.

Additional information on both of these may be attained through the Center Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/     Type Norovirus or E Coli in the Top Right Search area for articles, and information on these illnesses.

Resources

E Coli Information 1
E Coli Information 2
Norovirus Information

If you have a question, comment or suggestions, please E-mail:  Jim Kennedy

Juniata Valley Council, BSA, 9 Taylor Drive, Reedsville PA 17084  (717) 667-9236(voice)  717-667-9798 (fax)