Food Poisoning
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My child is a student at Hope College and was infected with food poisoning in November. I think the College officials said it was Norovirus. What should I do?

The most important thing you can do is to let your child know what to expect if he or she is currently suffering from the effects of a Norovirus infection.  The child's symptoms will resemble the flu and they generally last for about 3 days.  During this time, they will probably want to stay in bed and that is fine.  If symptoms persist for longer than normal, they should seek medical attention.

Norovirus is extremely contagious.  People can remain contagious for up to two weeks after their sypmtoms go away.  Students should avoid congregating in large crowds and should avoid sharing food and drinks.

Normally, reporting the infection is an important step.  The Ottawa County Health Department is already involved, so it may not be necessary to file a full report, but you should contact them and report your child's infection and be prepared to go through any necessary paperwork.  This will start a paper trail of your child's involvement in this outbreak.

Once the Health Department identifies the cause of the outbreak, you will need to speak with a lawyer to determine if the outbreak was the result of someone's negligence.  Negligence just means that someone who had a legal duty to act reasonably acted unreasonably instead and that, by acting unreasonably, this person caused your child's infection. 

It is very likely that a large-scale food poisoning outbreak which has infected over 400 people to date was in fact the result of somebody acting unreasonably, but the Health Department report is necessary to know for sure.  If the outbreak was caused by someone's negligence, you probably have a food poisoning case.  An experienced Michigan food poisoning lawyer like the ones at Buckfire & Buckfire could help you decide if you want to sue.

Lawrence J. Buckfire
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