Norovirus Outbreak Linked to the Death of a New Hampshire Resident.
A norovirus outbreak, which took place in November 2019 during the week of Thanksgiving, has now been linked to the death of an individual in New Hampshire. The norovirus outbreak which affected 18 people took place in the restaurant Puritan Backroom in Manchester, New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has reported that the death was only linked to the norovirus outbreak after the final autopsy results were completed last month. Not many details have been disclosed about the individual, the OCME only reported that he was an adult from Hillsborough County.
The source of the norovirus outbreak has not been disclosed to the public as of yet. According to the New Hampshire Journal, the incident occurred during a party of over 40 people who gathered at the Manchester function hall the Sunday before Thanksgiving. 18 people later began having gastrointestinal complications, after further investigation, they tested positive for norovirus. The norovirus outbreak was later reported but the name of the restaurant was not disclosed until recently. Health Department officials have stated that the reason for the restaurant’s name being omitted was because the location of the party was not believed to the source of the outbreak at the time.
Recent news reports have shown that the restaurant Puritan Backroom had its last inspection in February of 2019 even though Manchester restaurants are supposed to be inspected by the Environmental Health Division at least once every six months. In their last inspection, the restaurant received a rating of 84 due to unsafe food handling by the staff. It was also noted in the news reports that two of the cases linked to the outbreak were staff members of the restaurant, who reported norovirus like symptoms after the party.
Beth Daly, Chief of the DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, said “In order to prevent any potential additional people from becoming ill, the Manchester Health Department conducted an immediate inspection of the facility as soon as we learned of the illness on November 27th. Based on the inspection and our investigation into the illnesses, we determined there was no specific ongoing norovirus risk to the public from this establishment.” A spokesman of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, Kathy Remillard, has stated that the investigation on the outbreak is complete and they will report their findings when they become available.