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Dreaded ‘Stomach Flu’ Hits Schools and Families

Norovirus is an extremely contagious stomach bug that causes intense bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, and it’s raging across the U.S. It’s been particularly hard on schools, some of which have been forced to shut down due to student absences, iTechPost reports. The virus is often linked to contaminated food sources.

I’ve talked about norovirus outbreaks before, and we do know that contaminated water used to reconstitute pesticides could be a relevant source of infectious norovirus in fresh produce — which explains why many of the school outbreaks are believed to have originated in their cafeterias.

Norovirus is the leading cause of food-borne outbreaks in the U.S., with fresh produce (especially leafy vegetables and fruits) among the most common culprits. While you can be infected with norovirus through direct contact with someone who's infected, this virus is often spread through the fecal-oral route, when you consume food or water that's contaminated.

Because many norovirus outbreaks are tied to restaurant or ready-made foods, the more you prepare your own food at home, the lower your risk of contracting this food-borne infection is likely to become — all the more reason to eat organic.

In fact, a recent study concluded that eating organic foods reduces pesticide exposure, improves the nutritional value of the food, lessens disease risk and improves early childhood development. Other studies found epidemiological data demonstrating the negative effects of pesticide exposure on the cognitive development of children and determined these effects would be minimized by eating organic foods.
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