KDHE investigating norovirus illnesses in Overland Park

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is working with the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to investigate an outbreak of norovirus infection among individuals who became ill after attending the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kan. on Sunday, Jan. 17.

KDHE is conducting interviews of individuals who attended one of the two performances on that day and so far found more than 100 individuals who reported illness. KDHE has not had any reports of illness from individuals attending the theater on any other day. Four people who became ill have laboratory specimens that confirmed norovirus. The New Theatre Restaurant has been fully cooperating with this investigation.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain. A person develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed and most people get better within one to three days. The best way to prevent norovirus is proper handwashing.

KDHE is still investigating the source of this norovirus outbreak. To determine the extent and cause of the outbreak, KDHE is conducting a secure, confidential online survey among those who attended either performance at the New Theatre Restaurant on Sunday, Jan. 17, including those who became ill and those who did not become ill. The online survey is available at http://tinyurl.com/newtheatre2016. Personal information provided to KDHE will be held confidential, and is protected by state law. People who have already participated in a telephone interview do not need to complete an online survey.

Norovirus causes an estimated 19 to 21 million persons to become ill each year, and is more common in the winter months. Norovirus is spread from person to person, by touching contaminated surfaces, or through contaminated food or water. Persons who are ill with norovirus symptoms should not prepare food or care for other persons.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the outbreak can contact the KDHE Epidemiology Hotline at 877-427-7317.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas