Seattle health officials are investigating a suspected outbreak of norovirus at Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant in Bellevue that may have sickened as many as 50 people who attended a private party.

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Seattle health officials have closed Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant in Bellevue while they investigate a suspected outbreak of norovirus food poisoning that may have sickened as many as 50 people at a private event.

One or more people may already have been ill at the Jan. 18 event, officials with Public Health — Seattle & King County reported Tuesday.

Several workers at the restaurant at 10455 N.E. Eighth St. in Bellevue also were ill with symptoms consistent with norovirus. No lab tests have confirmed that the illnesses are norovirus, but tests may be pending, officials said.

A statement issued by Maggiano’s said restaurant officials reported the potential illness to Seattle health officials immediately and that there is no “confirmed diagnosis of a foodborne-illness.”

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Health officials said they learned of the outbreak on Friday. Restaurant officials are cooperating with public-health workers. The site’s food-business permit has been suspended to allow for thorough cleaning and sanitizing.

Maggiano’s is taking the incident “very seriously” and staff members have thoroughly disinfected the restaurant, the statement said. Restaurant workers are expected to report illness to management, “which results in immediate exclusion from work,” it added.

Norovirus is a highly contagious illness often spread through food or person-to-person. People who are ill with vomiting or diarrhea for more than three days or who have bloody diarrhea should seek medical attention.

Consumers who want more information can contact Maggiano’s at 1-844-201-1041 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Monday through Friday.