More than 230 were sickened by an outbreak of Norovirus linked to a Maumee, Ohio donut shop. Health officials say the number of people affected continues to climb.
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department said the Norovirus outbreak was traced to Mama C’s Donuts, a suburban Toledo restaurant that has been serving the community for years.
“I was texted Sunday morning about 2 a.m. or so that there was something going on. Monday morning, we came in and started the investigation and found out that at this point in time the investigation is looking to Mama C’s out in Maumee relative to a Norovirus outbreak,” Health commissioner Eric Zgodinski told Toledo’s WTOL TV.
Three of the food samples public health officials collected from Mama C’s tested positive for Norovirus, a notoriously resilient and contagious virus that is spread though person-to-person contact, through infected food or drink, or even environmentally, such as touching contaminated surfaces.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after exposure. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, and body aches. These symptoms put patients at risk of dehydration and those who seek medical help are usually rehydrated through IV.
Dar and Yann Chao, the owners of Mama C’s, voluntarily closed the restaurant August 8 and are working with authorities to determine how the virus was spread. The Chas told WTOL that they have been running the restaurant for 15 years and that their customers are their family. The restaurant is undergoing a thorough cleaning but will reopen only after a re-inspection determines it’s safe.
The health department said that restaurant workers and others employed in the food industry should refrain from working near or around food for at least three days after their symptoms go away. Most patients recover fully from symptoms after three days.