SFB President Speaks about Norovirus and E.coli Breakout in Boston

Head over to any Chipotle during lunchtime and the line will be typically out of the door. Well, at a Boston location (and others around the country, according to news reports), a norovirus breakout has infected more than 120 students.

Tom Webster, SFB president, spoke on the subject to Boston.com, WBUR and was featured in a segment on The Today Show.

Boston public health officials confirmed that norovirus is responsible for the gastrointestinal illness that has sickened scores of people who ate at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Brighton, WBUR reported.

Webster, spoke to the media about symptoms, treatment and prevention in his interviews.

Couple of highlights:

WBUR: “It’s even more difficult with these symptoms. You know, they usually start as stomach cramps. You know, there’s a lot of things that cause that,” said Tom Webster, a biomaterials expert at Northeastern University. “And every time you have a stomachache, should you really stay home from work?”

Whatever the reason for this case, Webster said the food preparation model at Chipotle raises the risk of spreading illness. Burritos are filled and rolled assembly-line style.

Boston.com: How common is it to get norovirus, and how worried should we be?

“I think it’s pretty common. There’s not many deaths [from it], fortunately. Though it disrupts your life, it really only results in death if you are really young or really old. And many of the deaths that result from norovirus are due to dehydration issues.”

Where does it come from?

“It can come from raw foods, like shellfish and sushi. It’s really just like any other virus that’s constantly around. It’s just when we get into close contact with it that it becomes a problem and we spread it.”


Stay tuned to this story as the SFB media team is continuing to push this story to national media. If you have a contribution or secondary idea to this story, please email the media team at sfb@schneiderpr.com with your ideas.