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Norovirus complaints traced back to Kamloops restaurant

Norovirus particles
Image Credit: GrahamColm at en.wikipedia
May 15, 2015 - 4:47 PM

KAMLOOPS - Fourteen people fell sick with norovirus after eating at a North Shore restaurant earlier this month, but Interior Health Authority says restaurant staff followed corrective measures suggested by investigators to prevent a re-occurence.

After eating at Minos Greek Restaurant the weekend of May 1 and 2, three groups of diners came forward to complain of norovirus symptoms. Through interviews and sample collection, inspectors determined the restaurant was the source.

Norovirus - also known as norwalk - can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Recovery can take a matter of days for most people. Severe cases are rare.

Joyce Michaud with the authority said the outbreak didn’t continue “day in, day out."

“The best control measures may not have been in place,” she said. “If we felt it was an ongoing concern, we would have closed the restaurant.”

She said the case is not unique; the communicable disease unit investigates multiple sources in the community.

“Norovirus is very common. We are seeing outbreaks in other places,” she said citing care homes as regular locations for norwalk.

Michaela Swan, a spokesperson for the authority, said while many see the term “outbreak” as inflammatory, it’s used to describe all cases - even if it only involves two people.

"These situations are unfortunate for business owners, and serve as a good reminder of how easy illness can spread,” she said.

School district officials in Vernon confirmed an outbreak at Ellison Elementary, May 15, but said it was nothing to be overly concerned about.

Managers at the restaurant were not available for comment.

Washing hands and cleaning surfaces with bleach are two easy ways to prevent norovirus. The virus can survive on sink taps or countertops if not properly cleaned. If someone falls ill with the virus, it’s recommended they stay home from work to prevent its spread. Food workers who are infected can easily contaminate others. Foods may also be contaminated prior to arriving at a restaurant - such as shellfish contaminated by sewage water.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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