Restaurant reopens after suspected viral outbreak

Restaurant reopens after suspected viral outbreak

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by Evan Sernoffsky, kgw.com staff

kgw.com

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 25 at 5:53 PM

VANCOUVER – Health officials from Clark County allowed Billygan’s Roadhouse in Vancouver to reopen Monday.

Officials closed the restaurant Friday after a suspected Norovirus outbreak sickened 22 people who ate there. County officials suspect viral gastroenteritis, an illness that has symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as the culprit pathogen.

“We appreciate the restaurant’s cooperation in cleaning and sanitizing surfaces and equipment and removing sources of potentially contaminated food. We believe transmission no longer threatens patrons and employees and we’re pleased that service can resume,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, county Health Officer. “We hope anyone who became ill has recovered. This type of illness is common during the winter, but fortunately most people get better within a day or two.”

The restaurant was closed while crews could clean all surfaces, sanitize equipment and throw out potentially contaminated food, said Don Strick with Clark County Public Health.

People with the illness recover in an average of 27 hours and do not usually need medical care. Viral gastroenteritis can cause dehydration in the young and elderly and those who have other health issues.

The illness is highly contagious and food contamination can occur when people fail to properly wash their hands.

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