The Minnesota Department of Health on Friday said at least 60 people are likely sick with the norovirus after eating contaminated food at two events at downtown Duluth’s Greysolon Plaza Ballroom on Dec. 3.
“Preliminary information suggests that the illnesses are consistent with norovirus,” Robinson said. “This is a good opportunity to remind everyone that winter is the peak season for norovirus in Minnesota. The biggest prevention to help prevent the spread of norovirus is careful hand-washing with soap and water.”
People who have been ill should refrain from preparing food, commercially or for their own families, for an additional 72 hours after they recover, Robinson said. The virus, which moves from anal to oral contact, is not easily spread by casual contact but moves fast through contaminated food.
Symptoms usually appear 24 to 48 hours after contaminated food was eaten, “so people mistakenly believe it was the last food they ate, when it usually isn’t,” Robinson said. The virus can make people violently sick to their stomach, usually for a day or two, but rarely spurs any long-term health issues.
Greysolon Ballroom remains open and able to serve food, Robinson said, but Department of Health staff members have been on site to make sure the facility is taking proper precautions to prevent the problem from happening again.