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Norovirus Outbreak Linked to Michigan Mexican Restaurant

At least 200 sickened

At least 200 people fell ill last week with Norovirus infections connected to a Mexican restaurant in Michigan’s Ottowa County.

The Ottowa County Health Department began investigating the outbreak on Thursday of last week and by this week had linked the illnesses to Margarita’s Restaurant of Holland, MI, which was shut down after it was determined to be the outbreak source.

It is not clear whether victims included both customers and employees or only customers.

Norovirus is transmitted through the fecal-oral route. Food handlers who contract Norovirus should stay home from work 48-72 hours after symptoms end to prevent the spread of infection, says the Ottowa County Health Department.

Symptoms of Norovirus infection, which include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, low-grade fever and chills usually appear about 24-48 hours after exposure and resolve in 1-2 days; however people with compromised immunes systems, the elderly and small children are at risk for more serious illness from Norovirus infection.

The county health department released a statement Monday asking anyone who had experienced these symptoms after eating at Margarita’s Restaurant – located on 495 West 17th St. – to contact Ottowa County Health Department to report their illnesses.

However on Tuesday evening MLive.com reported that the health department is no longer taking reports of illnesses tied to this outbreak.

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