The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has a total of 542 cases of the Norovirus — 520 from the Tacoma location and 22 suspect cases from the University Place location of El Toro restaurants.
Norovirus outbreaks typically have greater numbers of cases than other types of outbreaks because of the low number of virus particles needed to cause infection and the rapid person-to-person transmission. This outbreak had much higher numbers than usual because:
The exposure period lasted eight days before the department received notification that people were sick.
The department shared more about this outbreak than others in the past. The media coverage and its own public outreach expanded awareness of the outbreak and how to report foodborne illness, which meant more people became aware that their symptoms might be norovirus, and they contacted the health department.
Information about the Norovirus outbreak is available at the department’s website.