Several cases of norovirus have surfaced, apparently connected to a restaurant in Gig Harbor.

According to the Tacoma Pierce County Department of Health, 18 people have been sickened.

It's believed a few people contracted the bug at the Blazing Onion, took the germs home, and infected family members.

Norovirus is easily spread and is not a food borne illness, but it can be spread by someone who is sick and handling the food. Symptoms include vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea.

The restaurant reopened at 5 p.m. Tuesday and issued this statement:

We received reports that some of our guests fell ill on Saturday. We immediately contacted the Pierce County health department, and together determined that this was not a food borne illness but an aggressive flu-like virus. Working together with the Health Department, we closed the restaurant for 24 hours and took additional sanitizing steps to ensure no further spreading of the virus.

Our company goes above and beyond to make sure food safety procedures are strictly followed. We have an excellent management team with many years of experience and training and an outstanding staff of dedicated employees.

The Gig Harbor residents that we have spoken to have been tremendous in helping us to resolve this issue. We are privileged to be a part of such a supportive community.

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