bob chinn-thumb-200x149-1110.jpgA Cook County Health Department spokeswoman says test results have confirmed that the number of people who contracted norovirus food poisoning connected to Bob Chinn’s Crab House in Wheeling has now risen to 146. Amy Poore, a Public Health spokeswoman, confirmed Wednesday evening that 146 people with the norovirus gastrointestinal illness “have been linked to eating at Bob Chinn’s restaurant.”

Bob Chinn’s, which bills itself as the nation’s fourth busiest restaurant, reopened Wednesday afternoon, one day after it voluntarily closed its doors in the wake of customers becoming sick. The restaurant closed voluntarily Tuesday morning after receiving complaints from some customers who said they’d become sick after eating at the restaurant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that noroviruses cause 23 million cases of acute gastroenteritis annually, making noroviruses the leading cause of gastroenteritis in the United States (CDC, 2006; Fankhauser, et al., 2002; Mead, et al., 1999). Of viruses, only the common cold is reported more often than viral gastroenteritis (norovirus) (Benson & Merano, 1998).