Officials: Norovirus to blame for sickness at Nashville restaurant
Posted May 16, 2012
Nashville, N.C. — An outbreak of gastrointestinal illness that impacted patrons of Ribeye's Steakhouse in Nashville nearly two weeks ago was caused by norovirus, officials with the Nash County Health Department said in a report released last week.
An initial investigation linked the illness to the restaurant, located off N.C. Highway 64 in Nashville, but authorities concluded last week after their investigation that norovirus was to blame.
Norovirus is the most common cause of foodborne outbreaks across the United States.
Officials said the transmission of the virus at Ribeye's likely ended May 4, but warned that there have been other reports of similar illness from people not associated with the restaurant. Nash County Health Department officials warned residents in the area to take precautions to help prevent the spread of norovirus.
The best prevention is frequent hand washing, he said, adding that alcohol-based hand sanitizers don't work against the virus.
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. They usually last one or two days, but people are contagious for at least three days after they recover.
Norovirus is easily spread by touching a contaminated surface or by eating food prepared by someone who's sick, officials said. Weber urged people who feel ill to stay home to avoid spreading the illness, and said people should use bleach-based cleaners to wipe down desks, counters and other surfaces.