Health bosses linking norovirus cases to Northamptonshire pub after 60 become unwell

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Public Health England are linking a number of norovirus cases to a pub in Northamptonshire after 60 customers and staff reported being unwell.

A number of diners at the Hobsons Choice pub and restaurant in Pegasus Court, Kettering, reported symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea.

The pub shut for inspections earlier this week but is now open, with Public Health England (PHE) bosses saying there is ‘no continuing risk to the public’.

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A statement from PHE read: “Public Health England (PHE) has been made aware that a number of customers and staff at a pub and restaurant in Kettering have been suffering with gastrointestinal illness.

“Approximately 60 people have reported symptoms of diarrhoea and sickness.

“PHE is working closely with Environmental Health officers from the health protection team at Kettering Council to identify the source of the infection and the methods of working and hygiene standards at the establishment are being assessed.

“Medical advice has been given to affected customers to help them with their recovery and to stop the illness spreading.

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“The pub closed so all public areas and guest toilets could be thoroughly disinfected and it is now re-open for business.”

Norovirus is highly infectious and great care needs to be taken to prevent it from spreading.

David Pearce, consultant in health protection at Public Health England East Midlands, said: “Following a number of reports of people having diarrhoea and vomiting after visiting at a pub in Kettering, we have been looking into the cause of their illness.

“Along with environmental health officers, we have advised on the public health actions that should be taken to stop the infection spreading.

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“Although very unpleasant, people with a gastrointestinal illness will usually recover within a few days although more severe cases may require medical treatment.

“There is no continuing risk to the public.”

A number of restaurant-goers took to social media to voice their concerns.

One said: “We went for a family meal on Sunday nine out of the 10 of us were really ill within 24 hours.”

Another said: “My aunty (sic) went with a party of 14 on Sunday and 11 of them were ill.”

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A spokesperson for the Hobsons Choice pub said: “We are aware of a reported norovirus outbreak in the area and have worked to support the EHO who are satisfied with our hygiene practices.

“As a precautionary measure to help prevent the potential for further spread, we voluntarily closed the pub on Wednesday night for a temporary period to thoroughly disinfect the public areas and guest toilets as the health and safety of our guests is paramount.

“We reopened on Thursday afternoon and apologise to our guests for any inconvenience caused.”