Norovirus Outbreak

Norovirus Outbreak: Over 240 Affected Following Visits to North Carolina Sushi Restaurant

In a concerning turn of events, a norovirus outbreak has unfolded, affecting more than 240 individuals who visited Sushi Nine in Raleigh, North Carolina, between November 28 and December 5. The outbreak, traced by local health authorities, has prompted heightened awareness about the contagious nature of norovirus, commonly associated with symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain.

Wake County’s public health and environmental services departments reported the outbreak on Thursday, emphasizing the ease with which norovirus spreads, especially during the winter months when holiday gatherings and parties increase, involving extensive meal preparation and catering.

Rebecca Kaufman, Wake County Public Health Director, noted in a statement, “Unfortunately, norovirus can spread very easily, especially during the winter months when people come together for holiday gatherings and parties which include a lot of meal prep and catering.”

All affected individuals had visited Sushi Nine within the specified timeframe, leading to concerns about the virus spreading through contaminated surfaces, water, and unwashed hands, as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Manager Mac Schreiber asserted that the restaurant believes the norovirus originated from a sick patron rather than the food itself. The establishment voluntarily closed for deep cleaning on December 5, reopening on December 8 with no new reported cases.

“We’re pretty confident that it wasn’t the food,” Schreiber stated. “We have a reasonable belief that a customer with norovirus dined in the restaurant a few days prior.”

While investigations continue to determine the source and extent of the outbreak, Sushi Nine remains open for business, expressing gratitude for the loyalty of customers who continue to visit.

Norovirus, responsible for about 58% of foodborne illness cases in the U.S., poses particular challenges due to its high contagiousness. With most outbreaks occurring between November and April, the situation at Sushi Nine underscores the importance of swift and thorough cleaning measures to curb the spread of the virus.

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