Sick Tri-Cities Bartender Infected at Least 26 People
What a bummer when you have a fun night out, only to get home and spend the rest of the evening in the bathroom.
Several people got the stomach flu in February after eating at a local restaurant/bar in Richland. The Benton Franklin Health District narrowed the cause of 26 people throwing up, having diarrhea and cramps down to a sick bartender.
The very cool thing is the business, 3 Eyed Fish, jumped into action and took the matter seriously, following all of the requests by the health district including closing for a couple days to let the virus run its course.
The Health District found the bartender returned to work 12 hours after their last symptom instead of 24. So it is possible they were feeling better and thought they were over it, not knowing they were still contagious. And that's the main reason the health district released this information. If you throw up or have diarrhea you could still be contagious for up to 24 hours.
The district thought the primary reason so many got sick is the bartenders were handling garnishes with bare hands. Slices of fruit or mint leaves are supposed to be touched by tons or tooth picks only. On busy nights it's easy to slip into what's easiest, but it could result in something like this!