Norovirus identified in restaurant's closing

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:40 AM

At least 200 people have been reported sick since July 26 after eating food served at Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, the Ottawa County Health Department said. The restaurant closed Saturday, although a sign on its door said it was "for cleaning and remodeling."

On Monday, the Michigan Department of Community Health tested samples from the food served at the restaurant.

Norovirus causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping and low-grade fever. Because so many people were ill with the virus, health department officials are urging everyone in the community to take precautions.

Norovirus is very contagious and spread easily from person to person. The virus is found in the stool and vomit of infected people. People can become infected by consuming contaminated foods or beverages, by touching contaminated surfaces or objects and then touching their mouths, or by having direct contact with another person who is infected and then touching their mouths.

Health officials say norovirus can be prevented with frequent hand washing using soap, water and friction for 20 seconds. Hand washing is especially important before eating, after using the restroom, and after sneezing or coughing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not work against norovirus.

For more information about norovirus, visit miottawa.org/health.

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