Margarita’s Restaurant at 495 West 17th Street in Holland, Michigan is the site of a norovirus outbreak that has sickened at least 200 people. The Ottowa County Health Department is informing patrons of that restaurant about the gastrointestinal illness. Public health officials originally asked those who ate at that restaurant recently and experienced the symptoms of norovirus, to call the Ottawa County Health Department to report their illness. But the health department is no longer taking calls, saying the overwhelming public response was critical to the investigation.
Symptoms of norovirus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, muscle aches, chills, and low-grade fever. Dehydration is a risk with this illness. Those in high risk groups may have serious complications from the illness. Norovirus is spread through fecal-oral transmission through food, water, person-to-person contact, or surface-to-person contact.
To help prevent the spread of this virus, which is very contagious, wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap, especially after using the bathroom, sneezing or coughing, and before preparing or serving food. Stay home when you are sick. Food handlers must stay home for 2 to 3 days after symptoms end. Disinfect surfaces with a mild bleach solution, and wash soft materials in hot water in a washing machine. Alcohol based hand sanitizers do not work against norovirus.