January 27, 2023

It’s Likely That Monical’s Outbreak Was Norovirus

It’s likely that the Monical’s outbreak was norovirus, according to news reports, since the Tazewell County Health Department found three laboratory-confirmed cases of that type of infection on November 30, 2022. The food poisoning outbreak was announced two days ago, with at least 155 patrons reporting symptoms of stomach cramps, chills, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

It's Likely That Monical's Outbreak Was Norovirus

Monical’s Pizza is located at 6 Cherry Tree Shopping Center in Washington, Illinois. It was closed by the Illinois Department of Health for deep cleaning, food disposal, and employee training, but reopened on November 29, 2022.

Investigators further revealed that the virus was probably transmitted through high touch surfaces, or fomites. The virus is very contagious, and is spread through person-to-person contact, through contaminated food and drink and through contact with contaminated surfaces. Risks of transmitting this virus increase when people don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom, or go out in public when they are sick.

People got sick between November 21 and November 26, 2022. There is no word on whether anyone has been hospitalized, but that is relatively rare with a norovirus infection, unless the person has a chronic health condition, is elderly, is very young, and becomes dehydrated. The incubation period is very short, usually a matter of hours. And most people recover in a day or two without medical intervention.

Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States. There are about 20 million cases of this infection every year that leads to 100,000 hospitalizations. And every year there are about 2,500 norovirus outbreaks in this country. They occur most often in restaurants, healthcare settings, on cruise ships, and in schools and daycare centers. Norovirus infections cause about 900 deaths every year in the U.S., mostly among people over the age of 65.

 

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