Outbreak of norovirus reported, associated with Okinawa Teriyaki in Seattle

Health officials are investigating an outbreak of norovirus with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, associated with Okinawa Teriyaki in Seattle.

Officials said they learned 17 people from three different meal parties became sick after having food and drinks from Okinawa Teriyaki, at 1100 Western Ave., between May 8 and 9.

From the King County Public Health release: "The investigators observed that proper disinfectants were not being used to clean kitchen surfaces. They also learned that a customer had vomited in the dining area on May 7 or May 8, and it appears an effective cleaning solution against norovirus was not used when cleaning the vomit. If this customer was infected with norovirus, this could have contaminated the dining area with norovirus."

Norovirus is sometimes mistakenly called the “stomach flu” and can be contracted by contact with an infected person, contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Washington health officials describe norovirus symptoms and prevention methods below:

The virus causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting because your stomach, intestines or both get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). Symptoms include:

  • A sudden onset of illness, usually 24-48 hours after exposure
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhea and stomach cramps
  • Headaches, chills, a low-grade fever, muscle aches and tiredness
  • Symptoms lasting for 1-2 days

There are no specific drugs or vaccines to treat or prevent norovirus. However, taking the following precautions will help prevent the spread of the virus:

  • Wash hands after using the bathroom
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly
  • Do not prepare food for others while sick
  • Keep children with symptoms home from school or child care, and notify them of the illness
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces with a solution of bleach and water
  • Wash all clothes and linens soiled by vomit or fecal matter immediately

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