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Norovirus Hits Downtown Seattle Leaving 200 Sick and Two Hospitalized

Update Date: Dec 09, 2015 09:23 AM EST

Norovirus leaves about 200 people seriously ill and two hospitalized after contracting the food-borne virus in an event catered Bon Appetit Management Co.

Fox News reported that the outbreak prompted the local public health authorities to effectively shut down all food service vendors inside the Russell Investments Center until thorough investigations are completed.

The aforementioned catering firm was puzzled as to how the viral outbreak came about.

"The source of this illness remains unclear, and we are as eager as anyone to learn precisely how and when it began," said the company as stated in Raw Story.

Also, the catering service provider affirmed that they have followed all the food safety standards and promised to cooperate closely with health officials.

To avert further cases of noroviral outbreak, the Seattle health agency temporarily sealed off the contaminated building including some nearby food service outlets and ordered a complete clean-up and disinfection over the weekend as stated in Seattle Times.

According to The Tribune, norovirus is a highly communicable disease that results in gastrointestinal inflammation. Victims usually manifest symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, intense stomachache, and vomiting.

Seattle Times also mentioned that norovirus is responsible for 25% of all gastrointestinal-related cases in the United States as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) records.

Noroviral outbreaks are often the result of poor sanitation and hygiene practices in the food-service industry. That's why health officials repeatedly admonish food-service firms and their workers to observe proper hygiene, sanitation, and regular disinfection of the workplace.

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