By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Officials with the Benton-Franklin Health District in Kennewick, WA reported on the investigation of a norovirus outbreak linked to a local restaurant.
According to the timeline, health officials received the first reports over President’s Day weekend and at the conclusion of the investigation, 26 patrons of 3 Eyed Fish, a wine bar and restaurant in Richland were reported as infected.
The outbreak was linked to poor food handling practices by an infectious bartender. During the investigation, it was noted that the infectious employee who worked the night most ill patrons ate, returned to work less than 12 hours after they had an episode of diarrhea that same weekend.
In addition, the investigation revealed that drink garnishes were sometimes handled with bare hands, after interviewing bartenders.
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus. Consumption of product contaminated with Norovirus may cause acute onset of symptoms of gastroenteritis including severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Less common symptoms are low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Although most symptoms end within 48 hours, the elderly, young children and immunocompromised persons may develop prolonged, or more severe symptoms.