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Norovirus Outbreak at Bali Hai in San Diego

A norovirus outbreak has been confirmed at the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego at a Shelter Island journalism banquet on July 29, 2015. The awards ceremony was for the San Diego Society of Professional Journalists. At least 61 people were sickened, but officials haven’t identified the source of the virus.

Officials don’t know yet if contaminated food was the cause, or if the virus was spread person-to-person. Someone who prepared the food may have been ill and spread the virus. The symptoms of a norovirus outbreak include vomiting, fever, and diarrhea.

Three samples have come back from patients that were positive for “Genotype 1″ strain of norovirus. This is a less common strain than Type 2, which causes most of these illnesses.

The restaurant was inspected last week and about 65 people who had been ill had been interviewed. One patient was hospitalized in this outbreak. The food was served buffet style, with some warm foods such as roasted chicken, and salads.

The restaurant has been cleaned. No one who was not at the banquet, but ate at the restaurant, has been sick. The restaurant has an A grade from county health inspections, but it did have “major” violations during inspections. There was a problem with the holding temperature of food at an inspection on July 22, 2015, which must be below 40°F or above 140°F, and shellfish tags were not in the right place.

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