Suspected norovirus outbreak at Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant hits at least 30 diners

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Health officials are investigating a possible outbreak of norovirus at a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant that has so far affected at least 30 people.

The Washington County Public Health Department confirmed to KSTP that there have been reports of sickness among those who dined at the children's restaurant in Woodbury this past weekend.

In a statement, the department said: "The Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment is investigating a possible norovirus infection at this establishment.

"Approximately 60 people have been contacted by the public health department with about half reporting getting ill on Saturday, Jan 3, 2015.

"The restaurant is cooperating with the investigation and monitoring staff. They have completed cleaning the facility and are open for business."

The Woodbury restaurant has been open for less than a year, according to the Woodbury Bulletin, opening on a site near the SuperTarget in Commerce Hill in April.

It is the latest in a series of norovirus cases to hit Minnesota this winter, with the state's Department of Health telling MPR that at least 40 outbreaks had been reported from the beginning of November up until Dec. 22.

Food is one of the common ways in which the virus is transmitted, the Centers for Disease Control says, as infected people come into contact with food or surfaces off which food is eaten while carrying traces of the virus on their hands.

It is for this reason why health officials constantly encourage good hygiene, particularly when it comes to thoroughly washing your hands, as a way of limiting the spread of the virus.

The virus can cause diarrhea and vomiting, stomach pain, headaches and body aches. It can take 12-48 hours for symptoms to show, the CDC says.

Last April, a Chuck E. Cheese's in Maple Grove, Minnesota, was also the scene of a norovirus outbreak, according to KARE 11, while in October around 30 patrons of the Ground Round Grill & Bar in Winona came down with the virus.

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