The Vermont Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of norovirus at The Windjammer Restaurant and its affiliated Upper Deck Pub in South Burlington, following more than 50 reports of illness and nine lab-confirmed cases of norovirus infection.
Health officials said the restaurant’s management has been cooperating in the investigation and has voluntarily closed for 48 hours to conduct a thorough cleaning of the establishment, including discarding prepared food items. According to The Windjammer’s management, several employees were out sick with similar symptoms. The restaurant is working closely with the Health Department to ensure the employees have the opportunity to be tested for norovirus and receive information about hand washing and glove use policies.
Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis illness, sometime called the “stomach flu,” but they are not related to influenza. Norovirus is very contagious and can spread easily from person to person via fecal-oral route, contact with contaminated surfaces, and through ingestion of contaminated food or water.
Illness from norovirus often begins suddenly. Symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and some stomach cramping. While everyone can be affected, older people, children and those with chronic health conditions are at greater risk of complications. Symptoms usually resolve within 24-48 hours. Because of the risk of severe dehydration, drinking plenty of fluids such as juice or water or an oral rehydration solution is recommended. Sports drinks are not the best source for replacing lost nutrients and minerals. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider.
The Health Department has been reaching out by text messaging and calls to people who may have dined at the restaurant or pub since March 11, 2018. Patrons are asked to each complete a questionnaire designed to aid in the investigation. A link to the questionnaire and more information can be found at the department’s norovirus web page: www.healthvermont.gov/norovirus