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128 illnesses linked to virus

January 27, 2012

Health officials say a common stomach virus is linked to at least 128 people who turned ill after eating at a Conover seafood restaurant this month.

Citizens reported to Catawba County Public Health (CCPH) that they experienced nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after eating at the Harbor Inn Seafood restaurant on Fairgrove Church Road on Jan. 13-14.

CCPH reported 18 Harbor Inn-related illnesses had been documented Jan. 20. The number of documented reports climbed to 40 on Tuesday. Health officials said Friday that 128 illness complaints have now been documented.

CCPH collected stool samples from ill citizens and submitted five to the N.C. Division of Public Health for testing Wednesday, said Amy McCauley, CCPH community outreach manager.

Tests determined that norovirus — commonly called a stomach bug and sometimes linked to food poisoning — was the cause of the illnesses.
"At this time, the source of the norovirus is still undetermined," McCauley said.

Some Harbor Inn patrons who got sick said they believe salad was the cause.

"I think that's where the link's coming from," said Addison Fox, of Hickory. "It was the salad."

Fox said he ate at Harbor Inn with his father and brother Jan. 13. His brother did not have a salad and did not get sick. He and his father ate a salad and became ill that night.

"I've been sick before, but that was one of the worst experiences I've ever had," Fox said. "I was sound asleep, woke up and was going to be sick. Convulsing would be a better word. Six, seven or eight hours later, I felt like my body had been through the ringer."

George Ziogas, Harbor Inn's owner, told The O-N-E this week that he knew of no problems with the food, its handling or storage at his restaurant.

Health officials said CCPH found no violations during an inspection of the restaurant. CCPH conducted sanitation training with Harbor Inn's staff this week.

"Catawba County Public Health is continuing to work closely with Harbor Inn to help prevent further illness," said Doug Urland, CCPH health director. "Because norovirus is such a common illness, especially during this time of year, we encourage everyone to help prevent the spread of infection by washing their hands often and staying home when sick."

County health officials recommend someone with norovirus drink fluids to prevent dehydration and visit a doctor if symptoms continue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus is a common, easily transmissible and highly contagious illness that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain.

Fox estimated he's eaten at Harbor Inn about two dozen times.
"I'll go back," he said. "They have a good reputation, and I think they have a loyal customer base. This could happen anywhere."

Comments

Hey "Concerned"..

February 1, 2012 by Backbone (not verified), 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 982

..I got a job pal..so dont worry about little ole me! Que pasa?

As I previously stated..

January 30, 2012 by Backbone (not verified), 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 973

..I have eaten at Harbor Inn and the wait staff are Americans, however the kitchen staff and sanitation folks are Hispanics and any one with common sense will tell you they are, guess what...ILLEGALS!

By the way, we aint gettin' the smartones up here as border jumpers, we are gettin the ones who can't make it back home on the ole Barrio Holmes.

Which means the Please wash your hands in the lavatory can't be read any more than the US Property sign along the Rio Grande"

That is one to chew on, as most restaurants hire a bunch of illegals to work in these jobs that "most Americans wont do"...except for the 20 pwercent of us who are unemployed or under employed.

Note to "Backbone"

February 2, 2012 by cricket (not verified), 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 988

You are "right on", Backbone, about the illegals! I talked to somebody who was once employed at H.I. and yes, the kitchen is nothing but Hispanics and I bet they've yet to wash their hands or any other part of their body.

Backbone needs a Job

February 1, 2012 by Concerned (not verified), 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 979

This is what America has come too. It sounds like we have another Civil War in our hands. When are you people going to accept the fact that your ancestors came from another country too. The reason your unemployed is because your lazy. With an attitude like that nobody would hire your dumbass anyway.

Who in their right mind would eat at Harbor Inn?

January 27, 2012 by cricket (not verified), 2 years 26 weeks ago
Comment: 962

Hard to believe this man said he would go back there to eat! What this article doesn't say and what Mr. Fox would learn if he did his homework is that Noro is spread via human feces. Kitchen employees who prepared Mr. Fox's salad most likely used the toilet, but didn't bother to wash afterwards! Really, Mr. Fox...how could you go back??? Gross!

Cricket confused again

February 1, 2012 by Concerned (not verified), 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 980

This virus is very contagious and is also spread thru fluids. I think you enjoy eating feces that is why you continue to mention this. No matter what country you are from, it is an international and sanitational rule to wash hands after using the restroom. My advice to you is get a job, you have too much free time.

Anybody supporting Harbor Inn is nuts!

February 2, 2012 by cricket (not verified), 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 986

Mr or Ms Concerned: I don't and won't eat at the nasty place, so it is you who must have an appetite for FECES!

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