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More than 540 suspected norovirus cases now linked to two El Toro restaurants

Health officials say 520 people have said they got sick after eating at this El Toro location in Tacoma. Several other cases have also been reported from people who ate at an El Toro in University Place. (Photo: KOMO News)

TACOMA, Wash. - The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said Thursday 542 cases of suspected norovirus linked to El Toro restaurant have now been reported.

That includes 520 cases linked to the Tacoma El Toro location at 5716 N. 26th St. and 22 suspected cases linked to the University Place location at 3820 Bridgeport Way W.

The health department said norovirus is highly contagious and the high number of cases is likely due to secondary infections, meaning people who became sick from eating at the restaurant likely infected family members; or people who didn't show any symptoms initially exposed others during the incubation phase.

Both restaurants were briefly shut down so they could be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

The health department said people reported getting sick from eating at the Tacoma restaurant between Dec. 31 and Jan. 8. and the University Place restaurant around Jan. 6.

Most people experienced vomiting and diarrhea 24-36 hours after eating, and those symptoms lasted one to two days, the Health Department said,

One woman has also filed a lawsuit.

If you ate at El Toro Restaurant and became ill, contact the Health Department at food@tpchd.org, report online at www.tpchd.org/reportfoodborneillness, or call 253-798-4712.

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