KDHE: Norovirus sickened Jimmy John's patrons

Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:32:24 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 06 2014 03:21:00 PM CST

State health officials have confirmed a gastrointestinal illness was the source of an outbreak at a Garden City fast food restaurant.

The cases stem from the Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich shop in Garden City, 503 E Kansas Ave. More than 282 cases of illness have been reported since Dec. 10.

People have complained of suffering from diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue. Others had a fever and muscle aches. Officials say the symptoms mirror the stomach flu.

The KDHE said 209 people were sick within 10 to 72 hours of eating.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is assisting with the investigation. So far, no major health violations have been found.

Norovirus typically causes gastrointestinal illness - such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and low-grade fever - and is easily passed from person to person or through food that has been contaminated during preparation. It often causes large outbreaks, affecting a large percentage of persons who were exposed.

The best way to prevent norovirus is proper hand washing, excluding ill persons from preparing food, and proper cleaning and sanitizing of food preparation areas.

The restaurant was inspected on Dec. 18 and Dec. 24. The business closed for two days to conduct a special cleaning and disinfection procedure.

No new cases have been reported since the restaurant reopened in Dec. 27.