Wake County Public Health and Wake County Environmental Services are alerting the public of three confirmed cases of norovirus, all linked to a local Raleigh restaurant. Norovirus is a very contagious illness that can make people sick soon after coming in contact with an infected person, eating contaminated food, or touching contaminated surfaces. All individuals who became sick are recovering. Before they became ill, residents visited Sushi Nine, an Asian restaurant located at 3812 Western Blvd., Raleigh.
The first person to report to Wake County about feeling ill after eating in the restaurant was Friday, Dec. 1. Staff immediately responded and initiated the investigation. Soon after more reports reached Wake County’s Public Health Communicable Disease team. In total 241 complaints were received, and all of those diners reported visiting the restaurant between Saturday, Nov. 28 and Tuesday, Dec. 5. Staff have been able to interview more than 170 of the complainants so far and all have been asked to give stool samples, the only way to lab test for norovirus. Only three people provided samples so far and all three samples came back positive for the norovirus. The County is continuing to investigate all complaints.
The restaurant voluntarily closed for deep cleaning on Tuesday, Dec. 5. It has since reopened to the public. An environmental health consultant is conducting daily visits to the establishment. No new complaints have been reported since the restaurant reopened on Friday, Dec. 8.
Wake County is currently investigating all potential sources of exposure. And so far, the investigation is not pointing to a single type of food that might have been the source, as those who reported becoming sick ate a variety of menu items. It is common with norovirus investigations to not be able to narrow down to a specific source of contamination.