Kansas Norovirus outbreak sourced from Jimmy John's restaurant

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced on Monday that a recent norovirus outbreak was sourced from a Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches restaurant in Garden City, Kansas.

The outbreak was first reported on December 18, 2013. The Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories and the Finney County Health Department partnered together to investigate the outbreak by means of laboratory testing and phone and online surveys.

As of January 3, 282 people reported the development of gastrointestinal symptoms after eating from the restaurant. Reports of illness began on December 10 and ended on December 14. Of those who reported gastrointestinal symptoms, 209 developed symptoms of norovirus.

The restaurant was inspected twice, once on December 18 and a second time on Dec 24. The restaurant voluntarily closed to conduct a special disinfecting procedure. It cooperated fully with the KDA, KDHE and county health department.

Norovirus is an infection that causes gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea and mild fever. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted from person-to-person through the consumption of contaminated food.

Norovirus can be preventing through good hygiene practices and proper sanitation in food prep areas. Persons infected with norovirus should be prohibited from preparing food while infected.