The Golden Corral Restaurant in East Casper will voluntarily close for 24-hours to undergo a full disinfection after an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness in the area.
Bob Harrington of the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says there’s no hard evidence that the illness is foodborne, but more than 160 people who claim to have fallen ill say they’ve eaten at the Golden Corral in the last week.
“We hope to see a reduction in the number of new cases. That will tell us for whatever reason that it’s over and that it’s not being transmitted. Now, one of the things that we look out for is there might be secondary transmissions, so that, one person got it and brought it home and infected family members.”
Harrington suspects a norovirus of causing the illness. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. The virus is easily spread on contaminated surfaces and in the air, especially during the holidays.
“We spend more time indoors close to each other. We travel a lot, and we bring in new microbes from other parts of the country and sometimes other parts of the world. So it’s very normal to see an increase in these kinds of illnesses during the winter.”
Harrington says symptoms tend to last about 24 hours. He says the best way to prevent the illness is to wash your hands and, if possible, to wear gloves while caring for infected family members.