Norovirus :: Norovirus in Olive Garden food illness outbreak – Indianapolis

Marion County Health Department confirms norovirus highly contagious virus for an outbreak of illness among nearly 400 customers of an Olive Garden restaurant outside Indianapolis. Tests on three employees and one customer were positive for norovirus.

Norwalk virus is the prototype virus of the genus Norovirus of the family Caliciviridae. Noroviruses contain a positive strand RNA genome of approximately 7.5 kbp, encoding a major structural protein (VP1) of about 60 kDa and a minor capsid protein VP2.

Seventy-three cases were reported over the weekend, bringing the total to approximately 373.

Marion County will monitor the restaurant to check on its compliance with health department recommendations.

Historically, noroviruses have been named after the places where the outbreaks occurred, e.g., Norwalk, Ohio, where in November 1968 an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis occurred among children at an elementary school. In 1972, immune electron microscopy on saved stool samples identified the virus, which was called Norwalk virus. Numerous outbreaks with similar symptoms have been reported since and after initially being grouped as “Small Round-Structured Viruses”, the cloning and sequencing of the Norwalk virus genome showed that these viruses have a genomic organization consistent with viruses belonging to the family Caliciviridae.

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