Grant County Health Department officials are waiting on state lab test results to determine whether norovirus was behind the outbreak of more than two dozen people who were sickened in John Day, OR, this past week. According to an Aug. 5 story in the Blue Mountain Eagle, health officials suspected that the illness could have been transmitted between July 27 and Aug. 3 at the Snaffle Bit Restaurant. The owner of the restaurant was reportedly cooperating with the county and taking steps to prevent any other illness outbreaks. Norovirus is a fairly common and highly contagious illness that can cause nausea, vomiting and other symptoms. It spreads by fecal contamination of food or water sources and by contact with infected persons or contaminated surfaces.
Norovirus is not killed by alcohol-based hand sanitizers, officials said, and there is no vaccine available yet to prevent it. Washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet or changing diapers is recommended.