After being open just four days since the last norovirus outbreak, the doors to the Applebee's in Delta Township are closed once again. The cause? Yet another potential outbreak.
"Individuals reported vomiting and diarrhea," says Barry-Eaton District Medical Director Dr. Robert Schirmer. "What they had in common is they ate at the restaurant somewhere between 36 and 50 hours ago."
Dr. Schirmer says stomach flu, or gastroenteritis, is going around, but the situation sounds all too familiar to last week's.
"This may be a coincidence but in the interest of public health, we've asked them not to open until we can determine if this is a new or continued outbreak."
The three new people report having eaten at Applebee's Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. These dates come after the original timeframe posed as the infection period by the health department. Officials had thought the infection ran from Nov. 20 until Nov. 28.
Last Thursday, they said it was completely safe to eat at Applebee's. Now, it looks like that green light has turned back to red.
"This is not expected," Dr. Schirmer says. "The restaurant did a fine job with their interventions and with the [Michigan Department of Community Health] code. They disinfected. We would've expected these procedures to be effective in an outbreak."
The health department will be calling other patrons who ate at Applebee's in the past few days to see if they're sick as well. As of now, it's hard to give a definite diagnosis of what's going on this second time around.