Virus Confirmed at Area Restaurant

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WOWO): A Whitley County restaurant reopens after a contagious virus has been confirmed.

Last month, dozens of patrons became ill after eating at Los Tequilas, a Mexican restaurant in Columbia City. According to the website, health officials confirmed the Norovirus infected nearly 60 people. Some were reportedly hospitalized.

Mary Ann McClusky, an environmental health food specialist, says five of nine employees were working while they were sick. She told the website, “she had never seen anything like it in 18 years.”

“There were 5 of the 9 employees who were working while they were ill,” she added. “People became ill from contact with people in the kitchen or from waiters and waitresses. This was strictly a contagious disease that was passed on from employees. It's the kind of thing you find on cruise ships.”

The health department says they will continue to monitor the restaurant.

The Norovirus can be passed through food or water or touching contaminated surfaces. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea,  diarrhea and vomiting.