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Norovirus sickens dozens of people at local restaurant

By ALLISON NORLIAN

MADISON, N.Y. (WKTV) - Over 60 area residents had an Easter they will never forget this year, after contracting a norovirus from a buffet at the Hotel Solsville.

Easter began as any given busy holiday, according to owner Brad Dixon. Over 450 people were expected at this year's Easter celebrations and he had the food and help he needed. The day went according to plan.

It wasn't until Monday, that Dixon received a call and visit from the Madison County Department of Health. According to the health officials, they had begun receiving complaints of nausea and vomiting. The one aspect all people had in common, they ate at the Hotel Solsville's Easter buffet.

"The health department was here every day checking different things, going over how I do things," Dixon said. "How I cook things, how I cool things, typical questions. They were all very good and fair so whatever it was going  to turn out to be I wanted to know."

After determining that it wasn't the food or water at the Hotel Solsville that caused the outbreak, the health department narrowed down the symptoms of those affected, realizing it was the result of a norovirus.

According to the Madison County Department of Health, "Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis which is inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This is commonly referred to as the stomach bug or stomach flu in people."

The norovirus is also extremely easy to contract. It can live on anything and can survive and infect people for days after its touched or consumed.

It can be spread by eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated, touching surfaces or objects contaminated then putting your fingers in your mouth or having contact with someone who is infected.

Due to the severity of the virus, Dixon was asked by the health department to close for 24 hours to conduct an intense cleaning and sanitizing.

"We picked a day when I didn't have a lot going on and we tore the place apart," Dixon said. " Wiped everything in the building down, took eight of us 12 hours to do."

Dixon said the support from his customers has been unbelievable and fortunately he has not lost any business.

"I've been here 22 years and hope to be here 22 more," Dixon said.

The Hotel Solsville is back open for business.
 

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