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26 апреля 2016, 23:38

How the Most Common Cause of Food Poisoning Became the Most Ignored


How the Most Common Cause of Food Poisoning Became the Most IgnoredImage: Chefs at work/ hxdyl, Shutterstock

E. coli, salmonella, and staph are the names Americans fear when it comes to nasty foodborne illnesses. Yet it’s norovirus that is, far and away, the most common cause of food poisoning in the US. So why aren’t Americans more afraid of it?

Of the 48 million cases of food poisoning in the US a year, norovirus is responsible for more than 5 million of them. The closest competitor, salmonella, doesn’t even come close at just over 1 million cases. But despite norovirus’ dominance in foodborne illnesses, its existence barely registers for most people. That’s a problem when it comes to trying to reduce the number of cases.

Before a successful campaign against norovirus can be effective, researchers first have to convince people that it really is a major health issue. A new study out today in PLOS ONE from researchers at Johns Hopkins University could finally shift that attitude.