A norovirus, which can be passed by food, likely was what killed a Weston, FL dentist who was one of four friends to get sick shortly after eating lunch at Weston Hills Country Club in June, a new Broward County Health Department report says.
But the report this week stopped short of naming the club as the source of the virus, and state regulators have taken no disciplinary action. Dr. Edward Nacht could have caught norovirus from his chicken quesadilla lunch, because at least one food-service worker at the club had it, but lab tests did not prove it, the report says.
“This report is not showing any punitive actions,” said department spokeswoman Candy Sims, who declined to elaborate.
The club has denied wrongdoing or that Nacht died from his lunch. A spokeswoman could not be contacted for comment despite calls to her office and mobile phone.
But Nacht’s family said the test results show what happened.
“If Dr. Nacht hadn’t eaten there, he would still be alive today,” Dr. Jason Hirsh, Nacht’s son-in-law and dental partner, said Friday.”Norovirus was the cause of the outbreak and there was norovirus in the employees.”
Norovirus, a common cause of disease known for outbreaks on cruise ships, spreads most often from fecal material on unwashed hands.
Nacht and three friends ate lunch at the club after playing golf, and all got sick within a day. Nacht never recovered, and died days later in a hospital. A state inspection found food safety violations, including improperly warm coolers and raw foods touching each other. Health officials found 21 others who got sick after eating at the club in that time frame, but did not link them to Nacht.