Avoid the soup or sandwiches: Norovirus suspected as 40 now sick at Carnegie-Mellon linked to café

At least 40 people have gotten sick after eating at La Prima Espresso on Carnegie Mellon University’s campus earlier this week, including two people who worked at the eatery, according to the Allegheny County Health Department.

La Prima ExpressoThe outbreak at the eatery, which closed for cleaning today, is believed to have been caused by transmission of a norovirus, a highly contagious virus that can be spread by ingestion, as well as mere contact with an infected surface or person, said Karen Hacker, health department director.

“The question for us now is was it something from the food handling itself,” she said.

There may be more people who were infected but have not reported it to a health agency and are just dealing with the discomforting, but rarely serious symptoms of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea that can last two to three days, Dr. Hacker said. No one is known to have been hospitalized by the illness in this case.

Officials involved in the ongoing investigation by the university, health department and La Prima, believe that the people who got sick may have eaten or come in contact with either the soup or sandwiches served there on Monday or Tuesday.

CMU tried to downplay the outbreak earlier this week, refusing to comment since Wednesday beyond a brief alert posted on its website Wednesday afternoon saying that 15 students had reported getting sick and that La Prima had pulled “certain food items” as a result.

The reason it was asked to do a more thorough cleaning was because it told the county on Thursday that two of La Prima’s employees had gotten sick, too, said Donna Scharding, the health department’s food safety program manager. CMU did not mention that in its alert to campus.

Over 1200 sick: Campaign launched to fight Norovirus infection in Philippines

It’s gonna to more than edumacation to “effectively prevent and control the spread of the viral infection in Manila.

dude.wash.handsCity Health Officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos said his office has been saturating the different communities with varied information, education and communication (IEC) materials, through health centers and places of convergence in the different barangays.

Through the declaration, the CHO and other concerned offices and agencies and all health institutions in the city have been directed to institute, undertake and implement curative and proactive measures to effectively address and eradicate the outbreak.

CHO Epidemiology Division Chief Dr. Ivy Iturralde said the aggressive campaign will be focused on the practice of hand washing and proper hygiene.

5 outbreaks in 6 months will do that: Chipotle sales tank in Q1

USA Today reports that Chipotle posted a double-digit sales decline in the first quarter as the fast-casual restaurant chain works to restore its reputation after a spate of food-related illnesses hit its stores last year.

chipotle.burrito.vomitChipotle was dealt a swift blow when multiple instances of E. coli and norovirus shut down its stores and scared off customers starting last fall. The outbreaks prompted Chipotle, which built its reputation on preparing fresh food directly in stores, to adopt new food-safety policies and move more of its food preparation to a central kitchen, where it’s also testing certain ingredients for diseases.

In the earnings report out Tuesday, Chipotle said food costs accounted for more than 35% of revenue  in the quarter ended March 31, driven up by food-testing protocols and increased costs for pre-cut produce. That means for every dollar going into Chipotle’s cash registers, it spent about 35 cents on food costs.

The company has been investing heavily in marketing and promotions to entice customers back to stores. Promotional and marketing expenses totaled $55 million in the quarter, Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung said on a conference call. The efforts appear to be working. Executives said on the call Tuesday that the company gave away more than 6 million burritos or burrito bowls in February and March. A mobile campaign offering free burritos to make up for the day Chipotle closed stores temporarily in early February to hold an all-staff meeting on food safety had a 67% redemption rate, said co-CEO Steve Ells.

diarrheaSales at stores open at least a year fell nearly 30%, and restaurant transactions fell more than 21% as Chipotle reeled from the fallout of the food-safety issues — although transaction volume improved as the quarter went on. While the promotions seem to be resonating with new customers, executives said the company is still working to get its formerly most loyal eaters back in stores.

Chipotle said total sales came to $834.5 million, down 23.4% from $1.1 billion in the year-ago quarter. That was well below analyst expectations for revenue of $863.2 million, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Chipotle shares fell about 5% in after-hours trading on the news.

60 sick ill after norovirus outbreak at UK pub

A pub was closed and disinfected after 60 customers and staff suffered vomiting and diarrhoea after visiting the venue.

hobsonsInsidePublic Health England (PHE) was informed of the suspected norovirus cases after customers of Hobsons Choice in Kettering fell ill.

Hobsons Choice temporarily closed so all public areas and guest toilets could be thoroughly disinfected and it is now reopen for business.

The pub said it has worked with the authorities and they are happy with their hygiene practices.

“We reopened on Thursday afternoon and apologise to our guests for any inconvenience caused.”

148 sick from noro at a New York university; over $400K to clean up

The University of Rochester is spending an estimated $30,000 a day on external cleaning and supplies for their response to the Norovirus outbreak—and that’s only with about a quarter of infected students reporting.

norovirus-2The cost figure—provided by Holly Crawford, University CFO and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance—ramped up on April 12 and has come as the rate of infection is dropping.

It will total nearly $400,000 by Monday and does not include additional internal costs, such as extra staffing and opportunity costs.

“There won’t be any changes this week [for extensive cleaning], but we will have to look at the future beyond that,” Dr. Ralph Manchester, Director of University Health Services (UHS), said.

Over 700 sick from noro in Philipines

The Department of Health (DOH) and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) revealed Tuesday that the diarrhea outbreak in the city that started last week was caused by Norovirus.

norovirus-resized-600.jpgCity Health Officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos said norovirus is a highly contagious virus and can be obtained from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

About 707 cases of Acute Gastroenteritis (AGE) were admitted in the different government and private hospitals in the city from March 28 to April 16, 2016.

An increase in the admission of acute gastroenteritis cases was noted and reported starting April 4.

Three  children died due to acute gastroenteritis coupled with pneumonia and malnutrition, the city health office reported.

Agbulos said more than half of the cases were from the pediatric group particularly under five years old but all age groups were affected.

We just distribute the poop: 3166 sick – probably noro — in Spain linked to bottled water

Gastroenteritis caused by bottled water has affected 3,166 people in Catalonia, according to the regional health department.

05_eden LOGOThe origin of the intoxication is a norovirus that was discovered in bottles distributed throughout Barcelona and Tarragona on April 7, 8, 11, 12 and 13.

The water was drawn from a natural spring called Arinsal, in the principality of Andorra between Spain and France. It was distributed in Catalonia by a company named Eden.

Eden notes that it receives the sealed bottles from Andorra and merely distributes them.

Health authorities are calling all businesses that sold the product in a bid to tally a final number of affected customers. Because the gastroenteritis had mild effects, not all patients went to the doctor, department sources said.

The first tests conducted on patient samples show the presence of a norovirus, a microorganism that is responsible for half of all common gastroenteritis. It is present in animal droppings, which can contaminate the water.

Dozens of UK wedding guests struck down by Norovirus

Axl Rose belting out that wedding favorite, Highway to Hell, would be enough to make me barf.

axl.roseBut for dozens of wedding guests at the Stone House Court Hotel, it was Norovirus, over two days last week.

Hundreds of guests visited the restored country house for weddings on Friday and Saturday to celebrate their loved ones tying the knot and send them on their honeymoon.

But shortly after the festivities dozens of people became very ill.

After an investigation the hotel says the cause was an outbreak of Norovirus.

One guest, who asked not to be named, said the bride’s mother as well as several members of her own family were struck down.

“My brother and his children got really ill after the wedding, it was awful,” she said.

“It was appalling. You wait for so long and pay so much for a nice wedding and this happens .

“There were 120 guests but I am not sure how many got ill but there were a lot. It’s a terrible thing to happen.”

60 sick: Noro linked to UK pub

Public Health England are linking a number of norovirus cases to a pub in Northamptonshire after 60 customers and staff reported being unwell.

Hobsons Choice pub and restaurant in Pegasus Court,A number of diners at the Hobsons Choice pub and restaurant in Pegasus Court, Kettering, reported symptoms of sickness and diarrhea.

The pub shut for inspections earlier this week but is now open, with Public Health England (PHE) bosses saying there is ‘no continuing risk to the public’.

A statement from PHE read: “Public Health England (PHE) has been made aware that a number of customers and staff at a pub and restaurant in Kettering have been suffering with gastrointestinal illness.

“Approximately 60 people have reported symptoms of diarrhoea and sickness.

“PHE is working closely with Environmental Health officers from the health protection team at Kettering Council to identify the source of the infection and the methods of working and hygiene standards at the establishment are being assessed.

“Medical advice has been given to affected customers to help them with their recovery and to stop the illness spreading.

“The pub closed so all public areas and guest toilets could be thoroughly disinfected and it is now re-open for business.”

Something lost in translation: Thunder Bay health unit says sushi bar not at fault for noro

The district health unit has determined suspected cases of food-borne illness were not acquired through a local sushi bard.

Last week the Thunder Bay District Health Unit announced they were investigating Bento Sushi, located inside the Real Canadian Superstore, after four people were reported to be ill after consuming the food on March 28.

Neither food or stool samples tested positive for foodborne illness but stool samples did test positive for norovirus.

While norovirus can be spread through food, the health unit determined the incubation period ruled out Bento Sushi as being the cause. Norovirus is most commonly spread through contaminated surfaces and then ingesting the virus.