Last week the Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca closed nine of its branches in London, after a massive 365 staff and customers contracted the wholly unpleasant stomach bug known as norovirus.
Also known as the “winter vomiting bug”, norovirus is a highly contagious illness which causes inflammation of the digestive system, leading to aches, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. Lovely.
Co-founders Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby said, “We assessed each case and when it became clear they were not isolated incidents, we got in touch with relevant officials at Public Health England and environmental health officers.
“In tandem with that, we took our own precautionary measures – voluntarily closing affected restaurants, carrying out anti-viral deep cleaning at all of our restaurants, whether affected or not, and ensuring that any staff member who had reported illness remained off site until their symptoms had ceased for at least 48 hours.”
Four of the restaurants have since reopened, but the branches that currently remain closed include Canary Wharf, Covent Garden, Oxford Circus, Soho, and Westfield in White City.
If you’re unlucky enough to catch the bug, it should clear up after a couple of days, but in the meantime you should avoid going out in public (including until at least 48 hours after your symptoms subside), don’t visit your GP (call them or 111 NHS helpline), stay hydrated and get some rest.