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Norovirus cited in Olive Garden outbreak

From Jennifer Pifer
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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) -- Health officials blamed a highly contagious, hard-to-get-rid-of virus for an outbreak of illness among nearly 400 patrons of an Olive Garden restaurant outside Indianapolis.

Marion County Health Department spokesman John Althardt told CNN in a telephone interview that tests on three employees and one customer were positive for norovirus, which typically occurs in places such as cruise ships and restaurants where people are eating food prepared by others.

Seventy-three cases were reported over the weekend, bringing the total to approximately 373, Althardt said. (Watch a victim describe his experience. Video )

The Olive Garden, which closed on Friday and scrubbed, has been given clearance to reopen.

Marion County will monitor the restaurant to check on its compliance with health department recommendations.

The sickened patrons reported symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, fever. Three people remained hospitalized Monday.

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