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Twelve sickened by norovirus-like illness associated with Auburn Dave & Buster’s

An electron micrograph of human norovirus.

By: KIRO 7 News Staff

AUBURN, Wash. – King County Public Health is investigating an outbreak of a norovirus-like illness associated with Dave & Buster’s restaurant in Auburn.

Those sickened reported vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, chills and fever.

Public Health said since April 5, five people in one group reported getting sick after having food and drinks at the restaurant on March 31. 

Health officials said they have since identified at least seven employees who had symptoms consistent with norovirus dating back to March 21. At least one employee worked while being sick with norovirus-like symptoms, officials said.

The restaurant closed Friday for cleaning and staff training on proper food handling.

Environmental health investigators reviewed the requirement with restaurant management that ill staff members are not allowed to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours.

Health officials allowed the restaurant to reopen Monday evening after conducting follow-up visits.

Margo Manning, the Chief Operating Officer of Dave & Buster’s sent KIRO 7 the following statement:

“At Dave & Buster’s, the health and safety of our guests and team members is our top priority. We have strong policies regarding food safety, and take any potential issues very seriously. As soon as we were contacted by the Seattle & King County Health Department on Friday evening, we immediately closed our store out of an abundance of caution and began an extensive deep cleaning and sanitization of our facilities.
While this appears to be an isolated incident, we have taken every precaution to ensure the safety of our guests. The health department has evaluated our facilities and our track record of excellent health inspections, spoken with our staff, and provided clearance to reopen our store.”

Information about norovirus from King County Health:

About norovirus

  • Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that frequently spreads person-to-person and is often associated with food. Norovirus illness often has a sudden onset of nausea and vomiting and/or watery diarrhea with cramps. A low-grade fever, chills, and body aches sometimes occur.
  • Norovirus rarely causes severe complications. Dehydration is the most common complication, particularly among young children and the elderly. No vaccine is available for norovirus.

 Prevention

General advice for reducing risk of contracting norovirus:

  1. Wash hands, cutting boards, and counters used for food preparation immediately after use to avoid cross contaminating other foods.
  2. Wash hands thoroughly with soap after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing any food or eating.
  3. Wait at least 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing any food for others.

More information about norovirus

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