Seattle and King County health officials said they currently investigating an outbreak of norovirus-like illness associated with Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant in Bellevue. The investigation is in the early stages so information could change.
Preliminary information indicates that as many as 50 who attended a private event at the restaurant on 1/18/16 may have come down with norovirus following the event. One or more of the attendees may have already been ill at the time of the event.
Several restaurant workers were also believed to be ill with symptoms consistent with norovirus dating back to 1/9/16 and over the subsequent two weeks. Officials do not have laboratory confirmation that this is definitively norovirus, but often in norovirus outbreaks no laboratory testing is done.
Public Health learned of the outbreak late on Friday, 1/22. The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health, and we have suspended their food business permit in order to allow time for thorough cleaning and sanitizing. Public Health staff will be conducting interviews of ill persons. People who are ill with vomiting or diarrhea for more than 3 days, or who have signs of serious illness like bloody diarrhea should see a health care provider.
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is frequently spread person-to-person and is often associated with food. Norovirus illness often has a sudden onset of nausea and vomiting and/or watery diarrhea with cramps. A low grade fever, chills, and body aches sometimes occur. Norovirus rarely causes severe complications. Dehydration is the most common complication, particularly among young children and the elderly.
No vaccine is available for norovirus. Anyone with norovirus symptoms should wait at least 48 hours after their last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing food for others. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers, and before preparing food or eating. Because raw seafood can be contaminated with Norovirus, always cook shellfish and other seafood thoroughly before eating.