Norovirus outbreak suspected at Raleigh restaurant after more than 200 people say they got sick

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Friday, December 15, 2023
240 people say they got sick after eating at Raleigh restaurant
Wake County health department warns the public after confirming cases of Norovirus linked to a restaurant in Raleigh.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Hundreds of people got sick, possibly with norovirus, after eating at a restaurant in Raleigh, according to the Wake County health department.

According to Wake County officials, 241 people complained about being sick after eating at Sushi Nine on Western Boulevard between Nov. 28 and Dec 5. Health officials interviewed more than 170 of those people and requested stool samples, which is the only way to test for norovirus. Just three people provided samples. All three of them came back positive for norovirus.

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.

"Unfortunately, norovirus can spread very easily, especially during the winter months when people come together for holiday gatherings and parties which include a lot of meal prep and catering," said Wake County Public Health Director Rebecca Kaufman in a release. "We continue to work closely with customers who visited Sushi Nine, restaurant staff, and our partners with NCDHHS to determine the source and extent of the outbreak."

The first person reported their illness to Wake County on Friday, Dec 1 after eating at the restaurant. Officials said soon after more cases were reported to Wake County's Public Health Communicable Disease team.

The restaurant voluntarily closed for deep cleaning on Dec. 5 and reopened to the public three days later, Wake County said.

Wake County said it is continuing to investigate all potential sources of exposure. Officials said the people who became sick ate a variety of menu items and they are unable to point to a single type of food that might have been the source.

No new complaints have been reported since the restaurant reopened, officials said.

Anyone who visited the restaurant between Wednesday, Nov. 28, through Monday, Dec. 5, and became sick is encouraged to call Wake County Public Health at 919-250-1029, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ways to prevent the Norovirus:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of the virus include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Dehydration

You can avoid catching or spreading norovirus and other similar viruses by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer does not work well against norovirus.
  • Handling and preparing food safely by washing fruits and vegetables well, cooking oysters or shellfish thoroughly and routinely cleaning and sanitizing kitchen utensils, counters, and surfaces.
  • Avoiding preparing or handling food when sick. You should wait at least two days after symptoms subside before preparing food or providing healthcare to others.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces often, especially when someone has been sick. You should also wash clothes or linens immediately if someone has been sick on them.

For more information on norovirus, visit