Kansas confirms norovirus case related to Buffalo Wild Wings

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Buffalo Wild Wings Shares Fall on Norovirus Case

(Reuters) - One positive case of norovirus related to an investigation at restaurant chain operator Buffalo Wild Wings Inc has been confirmed, the Kansas health department's Johnson County office said on Friday.

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Buffalo Wild Wings' shares fell as much as 13 percent to a 15-month low on Friday, before easing back to close down 8 percent at $142.08.

The investigation is related to a gastrointestinal illness that affected at least 10 people who ate at a Buffalo Wild Wings' restaurant in Overland Park in suburban Kansas City.

"These types of illness are common this time of year," Johnson County Department of Health and Environment Director Lougene Marsh said in a statement. (http://bit.ly/1PZUvOv)

Norovirus is the most common cause of food-borne disease outbreaks in the United States and infections usually occurs in places such as hospitals, cruise ships and universities, where people eat and live in close quarters.

There were no further reports of illnesses and additional results on the existing cases are pending lab confirmation, the department said.

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Buffalo Wild Wings, whose outlets are known for their chicken wings, said despite the one positive test, there was no confirmation that its Overland Park restaurant was the source.

The company voluntarily closed the restaurant for cleaning after it learnt of the illnesses and reopened it the next day after consulting the health department, a company spokesman said in an email.

"We are monitoring the situation and will continue to work closely with the health department until their investigation is complete," the spokesman said.

Last year, two norovirus outbreaks were reported at the Massachusetts and California outlets of popular burrito chain operator Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.

About 19 million to 21 million norovirus cases, with 570 to 800 related deaths are reported in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recent norovirus outbreaks:

Recent norovirus outbreaks, more on norovirus
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Kansas confirms norovirus case related to Buffalo Wild Wings
This transmission electron micrograph, TEM, revealed some of the ultra structural morphology displayed by norovirus virions, or virus particles. Noroviruses belong to the genus Norovirus, and the family Caliciviridae. They are a group of related, single-s
This Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, photo, shows a Chipotle restaurant at Union Station in Washington. Chipotle said Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, it has been served with a federal grand jury subpoena as part of a criminal investigation tied to a norovirus outbreak this summer at one of its restaurants in California. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
People walk past the entrance to the Russell Investments Center building Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Seattle. Over 100 people have gotten sick in a norovirus outbreak at the office building, health officials reported Monday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Members of the Red Cross deliberate in protective clothing on board of the ship 'Lady Anne' at the Rhine river in Boppard, Germany, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008. German authorities say 16 people from a British ship on a Rhine River cruise have been hospitalized after an on-board outbreak of norovirus. The ship has been docked in quarantine at the town of Boppard so that they and others can be treated. (AP Photo/str)
Amanda T. Harrington, PhD, assistant professor of clinical pathology at UIC, tests specimens on Tuesday Jan. 12, 2016 using the Verigene System, made by Nanosphere based in Chicago, which helps medical professionals identify gastrointestinal infections like norovirus on the molecular level. UIC is one of the universities/hospitals that has the system. (Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
The Norovirus has increased tenfold in Colorado in the last 6 years, with most of the outbreaks showing up in nursing homes. Raquel Rivera cleans the private rooms and the common areas at Chateau des Mons Care and Assisted Living in Englewood, and has a rigorous cleaning regime. Since the home had an outbreak of the virus just over a week ago, along with her everyday routine of soap and disinfectant, Rivera wipes everything down with a bleach solution. She will use the bleach for at least two weeks after the conclusion of the last outbreak. Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post (Photo By Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - June 10: Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, during the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health markup of a bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act with the goal of improving the safety of food in the global market. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik and Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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