Health District confirms illness at a NE Ohio country club was caused by norovirus

Health District confirms illness at a NE Ohio country club was caused by norovirus
File photo (Source: WOIO)
File photo (Source: WOIO)

WILLOUGHBY, OH (WOIO) - The Lake County Health District confirms the illness at the Kirtland Country Club was caused by norovirus. The exact source is likely to remain unknown.

More than 100 customers and 12 employees became ill, officials said, after seven different events were held at the club Mother's Day weekend. These events took place May 13, 14, and 15.

The club voluntarily shut down its kitchen on May 16.

The general manager said an environmental health expert was brought in to supervise the sanitation and disinfectant process.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone.

According to the CDC website: "You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up."

Ron Graham is the health commissioner of the Lake County General Health District. He says the country club called them right away when people started getting sick.

"It's highly infectious, it can be carried person to person on objects like sinks and counters, also food. May be suspected norovirus, the verdict is still out, we're really not sure if it could be food borne," Graham said.

The best way to protect from viruses like the norovirus is simple -- wash your hands. Doctors recommend staying home from work for 48 hours and staying away from family members. People can also wash their clothes and clean surfaces in their houses to keep the virus from spreading.

Most people get better in one to three days.

Norovirus is the leading cause of outbreaks from contaminated food in the country.

"It's just the nature of food and humans, we have bacteria on us and sometimes it just goes awry and creates havoc," Graham said.

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