Ohio Health Department confirms norovirus as cause of Chipotle scare

Kiera Manion-Fischer

Seven of eight tests show source of illness

The Ohio Health Department lab has confirmed that people who became sick after eating at Chipotle in Kent had norovirus.

Tests of stool samples were reported yesterday.

Kristopher Weiss, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Health, said that stool samples from eight individuals were tested and seven were positive for the virus.

Tests from food samples may not be reported until next week, Weiss said. There is no test for norovirus in food, but the lab can determine whether food was contaminated with fecal matter.

“It takes longer to test the food,” said John Ferlito, health commissioner for the Kent Health Department. “We probably won’t know till Monday if the food got contaminated.”

The virus is genotype G2, a DNA coding. Ferlito said if there were to be another outbreak, tests could confirm whether the viruses had the same genetic structure and, therefore, source.

He said, however, that no new cases have been reported since Chipotle reopened, although some people became infected after taking care of their families or friends.

“You should be washing your hands and using Clorox solution to clean up the floor,” Ferlito said.

Contact safety reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].