Subway Norovirus: Which Restaurant Spread the Deadly Disease in 2012?

July 5, 2012 8:51 AM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Subway Deadly
Find out which Subway restaurant spread Norovirus in 2012. (Photo: Creative Commons)

According to a health department investigation, employees working at a Subway restaurant in Hartford City may have violated Indiana health codes and contributed to an epidemic when they went into work one January day despite being sick with the potentially deadly Norovirus.

Norovirus, a disease which enjoyed epidemic status in early 2012, kills infants and the elderly. For everyone else, it induces severe symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Norovirus is a highly contagious disease, and one that takes you out of commission while you recover.

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Of 90 known outbreak victims in Blackford, the health department surveyed seventy-four of them. Of the seventy-four who were questioned, seventy-two people reported having eaten at Subway shortly before they started to display symptoms of the disease. When looking through all the answers, Subway was the only identifiable place that the vast majority of those surveyed had eaten.

Though Blackford health officials are still at a loss for how Norovirus contaminated the restaurant, they suspect it may have come from a sick customer who didn't wash his hands (the virus spreads through fecal-oral contact), but there are a number of possibilities. The better question here is how and why four employees who all tested positive for the disease come in on Janury 7th, self-reporting to one another that they were working through their sickness?

It makes a strong case for a paid sick day here and there.

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