The Associated Press has reported a possible norovirus outbreak at a local restaurant in Johnston, Iowa. Full Story

Health officials from the state and Polk County say they are investigating the cause of illness in 71 customers of a Johnston restaurant.

Trostel’s Greenbriar Restaurant began getting phone calls from customers yesterday. The sick customers appear to have dined at the restaurant Friday or Saturday. Owner Paul Trostel says many had been part of two separate groups — a wedding rehearsal dinner and a 50th birthday party.

State and local health officials say the exact cause is unclear. But the incident comes in the midst of several outbreaks of norovirus — a family of viruses spread through contact of fecal matter with food or drinks. Polk County Health director Terri Henkels says they are investigating the outbreak as a case of suspected food-borne illness.