Mar 16, 2009 | 2
A Michelin-rated chef who calls himself a culinary alchemist was baffled by science of another kind recently: an outbreak of illness whose origin remains a mystery.
Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s London-area restaurant, The Fat Duck, was shuttered for more than two weeks this month after 400 patrons reported falling ill with vomiting and diarrhea. The eatery, located in the village of Bray 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of London, reopened Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
Britain’s Health Protection Agency still hasn’t identified the source of the outbreak and it may take a few more weeks to do so. But norovirus, also known as Norwalk-like virus, is being mentioned as a possible culprit. “Norovirus is a strong possibility,” the moderator for ProMed, a listserve for infectious disease experts, wrote in a March 6 post. “The incubation period from dining to onset of symptoms, length of illness, and the presence or absence of fever are three observations that can help distinguish a specific cause here.”
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