A restaurant in northeast Nebraska is expected to reopen today after it voluntarily closed for a top-to-bottom cleaning after several dozen patrons from Nebraska and Iowa got sick.
Health officials in both states are reminding food service workers about the importance of frequent hand washing. Dr. Ann Garvey, at the Iowa Department of Public Health, says they’re investigating several outbreaks of illnesses caused by norovirus. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and low-grade fever.
“You get noroviruses from eating foods or liquids that are contaminated, touching surfaces or objects that are contaminated and then placing your hands on your mouth or having direct contact with another person that’s ill and showing symptoms,” Garvey says, “for example, if you’re caring for someone that ill or sharing foods or eating utensils with that person.”
Victims usually recover in a few days with no long-term health effects, but Garvey says the problem could be completely avoided if ill persons with vomiting or diarrhea would avoid handling food for other people.
“We think this is particularly important because we’re going into that season for graduations, weddings and summer parties,” Garvey said. “We just want to remind folks of these good hand hygiene recommendations and food preparation practices.”
The Marina Inn in South Sioux City, Nebraska, is expected to reopen this morning after closing down earlier in the week.