We are in the middle of the norovirus season and there have been numerous news stories from around the globe, from US, UK, and Canadian hospitals handling cases, to an outbreak in an Australian eldercare facility, to a number of Taiwanese tourists and patrons at a Japanese hotel becoming sick.
A recent set of headlines came out about an outbreak at a Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches restaurant in Garden City, Kansas. The issue was first noticed on December 18th, and 110 cases had been reported by the 27th of December, linked to eating at the restaurant. As of January 3rd that number had jumped to 282 people (209 of which had the time to onset and clinical signs consistent with norovirus infection). The restaurant voluntarily shut down for cleaning on December 24-26 and no new cases were reported after the restaurant reopened on the 27th.
Norovirus was suspected based on the symptoms and sudden outburst of cases, and the county and state health departments were contacting diners for interviews and collecting information via online surveys to learn more about who was sick. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recently published a news release and explained that samples from people involved in the outbreak tested positive for norovirus.
These stories are a good reminder for us to take precautions so that we don’t get sick, and if we do become ill, to take measures to prevent spreading the unpleasantness to others.