The pub on Parliament Street suddenly closed on Tuesday due to reports of staff showing symptoms of norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, and a number of readers have contacted the ‘Advertiser to say they have been feeling sick over the last few days since visiting the Winter Gardens branch.
Public Health England met today to discuss their investigation, and a Wetherspoons spokesperson confirmed that a thorough clean of the premises has been carried out ahead of reopening tomorrow.
Dr Simon Padfield, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control at Public Health England Yorkshire and the Humber, told the 'Advertiser: “Investigations to date have identified that those affected visited Wetherspoons, Harrogate on the weekend of 15/16th September and became ill within a day or so after.
"Symptoms have included diarrhoea and vomiting, and the illness has been short lived. Harrogate Borough Council have advised the premises on cleaning measures and no ongoing health risk has been identified."
Sharing advice about how to reduce infection, Mr Padfield said: “Viral gastroenteritis is common, particularly at this time of year as we move into the winter months. Anyone who has symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting, at any time, is reminded not to visit vulnerable people in hospitals or care homes and to stay off work or school until 48 hours after symptoms have ceased to prevent spreading the illness. Anyone affected should also follow good hand hygiene measures and avoid preparing food for others where possible.
"There is no treatment for viral gastroenteritis, but it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. There are a number of causes of viral gastroenteritis - norovirus is a common cause but we do not have confirmation that norovirus is the microorganism involved."
Wetherspoons spokesperson Eddie Gershon said: “Staff members reported symptoms that are consistent with norovirus. The cause of the infection is not yet known but there’s no indication that it is food related. The closure of the pub and thorough clean down is a precautionary measure as advised by local authorities and Public Health England.
"We welcome the findings of this independent report from Public Health England."