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45 Sick From Norovirus At Upscale Waikiki Restaurant

Around 45 people fell ill after dining at a restaurant in Honolulu, where six cases of norovirus were confirmed, according to Hawaii Department of Health officials.

The upscale establishment Herringbone Waikiki voluntarily closed its doors on Thursday after health officials declared that diners had gotten sick. All of them recovered after a few days, The Washington Post reports.

Janice Okubo, department spokesperson, said,

Exposure appears to have been limited to those dining at the restaurant over the past weekend. The investigation is still underway with lab test results pending.

Rob Mora, a spokesperson for the restaurant, said that they have been working closely with the health department since the illnesses were reported, and that the health of their guests continues to be their number one priority.

The restaurant was thoroughly cleaned, and was cleared by food safety inspectors. It reopened on Friday. Mora said, “In alignment with the Department of Health, we cleaned four times everything top to bottom, up to seven feet.” In addition, restaurant staff will undergo training regarding hygiene in order to prevent any further incidents from occurring.

Health department officials began an investigation into the incident after receiving a report on Monday from a person who said that a group of five people all fell ill after eating at the restaurant. Inspectors visited the restaurant to collect samples for lab analysis.

Herringbone Waikiki is located on Hawaii’s famous Waikiki Beach, which has many high-rise resorts and is frequently visited by tourists.

Norovirus is a major cause of illness due to contaminated food, and employees who have handled the food are common sources of an outbreak, because of the disease’s highly contagious nature. It is transferred by touching contaminated surfaces or persons, or from ingesting tainted food. Symptoms include stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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