According to a recent investigation by the Davidson County Health Department, the outbreak of a foodborne illness at a barbecue restaurant in Lexington that caused several people to sustain personal injuries was caused by a norovirus.
The investigation was launched after 31 people complained to the health department of illness after dining at The Bar-B-Q Center.
According to evidence collected by the health department, the viral outbreak was most likely introduced into the restaurant via an employee who had been caring for a family member who had fallen ill. The health department said that the employee showed no signs of illness.
According to health officials, after the first reports of illness, the employees of the restaurant immediately used bleach and water to disinfect the restaurant. The health department said it has no further plans to test the restaurant for signs of the virus.
According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control, norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the U.S. The virus can be spread through food, personal contact, and contact with contaminated surfaces.
Norovirus symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Some sufferers also show symptoms like low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Typically, the illness will begin suddenly but will only last for one or two days.
There is no real treatment for norovirus, though doctors typically advise sufferers to drink plenty of fluids and attempt to treat the symptoms.
So far, one North Carolina woman is the on personal confirmed to have died from contracting norovirus. However, health officials believe that at least 18 other people have died as a result of norovirus.