Norovirus associated with Anthony’s HomePort in Des Moines
Updated June 5, 2018
Public Health investigated an outbreak of norovirus with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea associated with Anthony’s Homeport in Des Moines.
Since May 15, Public Health has learned of 37 people from 11 separate meal parties who became ill after consuming food and beverage at Anthony’s HomePort (upper level) on May 13, 2018. We have since identified at least 8 employees who experienced similar symptoms dating back to May 14.
Public Health actions
Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on May 15. Anthony’s HomePort shares a building with Anthony’s Oyster Bar & Grill. The two businesses are permitted separately and do not share a kitchen, but do occasionally share staff. An employee of Anthony’s HomePort (located upstairs) vomited in the downstairs restroom on May 16. Following this event, the restroom was closed, cleaned, and disinfected, and the employee was sent home.
During the field visit on May 15, investigators learned of possible ill employees. The restaurant was required to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection before continuing business operations the following day. Ill staff are not allowed to return to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours. In addition, all foods processed prior to the restaurant being cleaned and disinfected were discarded.
Investigators revisited the restaurant on May 16 to confirm proper cleaning and disinfection was completed. Investigators reviewed the requirement that ill staff are not allowed to work until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours, and they provided education about preventing the spread of norovirus — including proper handwashing and forbidding bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.
We do not have laboratory results for the people who got sick. Often in norovirus outbreaks, no laboratory testing is done. The exact food or drink item that caused the illness has not been identified, though this is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks where multiple food items may be contaminated.
- Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that frequently spreads person-to-person and is often associated with food. Norovirus illness often has a sudden onset of nausea and vomiting and/or watery diarrhea with cramps. A low-grade fever, chills, and body aches sometimes occur.
- Norovirus rarely causes severe complications. Dehydration is the most common complication, particularly among young children and the elderly. No vaccine is available for norovirus.
General advice for reducing risk of contracting norovirus:
- Wash hands, cutting boards, and counters used for food preparation immediately after use to avoid cross contaminating other foods.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing any food or eating.
- Wait at least 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea before preparing any food for others.
More information about norovirus
Link/share this page at www.kingcounty.gov/outbreak/ahp