An outbreak of gastroenteritis at a Nov. 4 beer and oysters event in Ocean City, Md., sickened almost 150 people and triggered a state investigation into the event, which was held at the Fager’s Island restaurant, a popular destination in Ocean City.
The restaurant is famed for its scenic views and says it has served Ocean City for more than 40 years.
At this time, 145 cases of the illness — which is associated with typical flu- and food-poisoning-related symptoms — have been reported in people in four states. Both the Maryland Department of Health and Maryland’s Worcester County Health Department are investigating and seeking input from those who got sick.
All of those who contracted the illness attended the “Shell Shocked” event at Fager’s Island, according to the Baltimore Sun. Gastroenteritis sufferers may endure vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, a fever and chills. The disease, which is typically caused by a norovirus but can also be a symptom of bacteria or parasites, is spread through infected food or water.
Normally, patients recover on their own without the need for hospitalization. No one has been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak at this time, according to Delmarva Now.
While Fager’s Island general manager Kevin Myers says he is waiting on results of the investigation conducted by Maryland state health officials, the restaurant plans to go forward with a similar event less than two weeks after the initial outbreak. Worchester County health officials will be on-site to ensure the safety of food prepared for the event. State health officials will also ensure that no employees who battled gastroenteritis in the 48 hours prior to the event are allowed to work.
“I can’t speculate on the cause [of the outbreak] until [state investigators] arrive at their conclusions,” Myers told the Baltimore Sun. He said the restaurant welcomes the “assistance and presence” of state health officials.