Health officials with the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) announced today that the norovirus outbreak that sickened more than 100 individuals who dined at Carrabba’s on West Saginaw Highway in Lansing, Michigan is over.
The gastrointestinal illnesses occurred during the May 7 & 8 weekend. No illnesses related to this cluster have been reported by individuals who dined at Carrabba’s after May 8th.
Laboratory tests have confirmed that the cause of the outbreak was norovirus, although the source of the illness is not known.
Upon receiving reports of illness on May 10th, Carrabba’s closed voluntarily for intensive environmental cleaning and disinfection. The restaurant then reopened on Thursday, May 12th, after consultation with BEDHD.
Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.
The symptoms include nausea,vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever,chills,headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.
Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.
There are more than 150 norovirus-like illness outbreaks per year in Michigan. Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually in the US, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.