Mukilteo Ivar's closes for cleaning after reports of norovirus-like illnesses

VIDEO: Several sickened after eating at Ivar's in Mukilteo

MUKILTEO, Wash. — Snohomish County health officials are investigating a small number of reports of a norovirus-like illness in people who ate at the Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing on Saturday.

The Ivar’s full-service restaurant at 710 Front Street closed voluntarily on Wednesday so it could be sanitized. The Fish Bar was closed for disinfection as well.

KIRO 7 Reporter Joanna Small will be speaking with health officials about the possible origin of the illness for a live report during our 5 p.m. newscast. >>

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The Snohomish Health District said it’s not known if the sickness was caused by food or by someone who was sick who came into contact with restaurant customers. Officials have been unable to confirm the type of sickness by lab tests because the duration of the symptoms are relatively short.

The president of Ivar’s, Bob Donegan, said no one required medical care.

The Health District said germs spread quickly at places such as restaurants, schools and other places where large numbers of people congregate.

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Dr. Mark Beatty, health officer for the Snohomish Health District, said the timing of the reports suggest that the illnesses were a fairly isolated incident.

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.

 The Snohomish Health District describes the symptoms and preventions 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