Chipotle closed one of its restaurants in Sterling, Virginia, on Tuesday after reports of several people falling sick after eating at the chain emerged.

Reports suggest 13 people had fallen sick after eating there between 14 and 15 July.

As many as eight people posted their experience on the website iwaspoisoned.com, saying they were facing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach pain, dehydration, and nausea.

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One person, who had eaten salad at the restaurant, wrote: "I got some Sunday night ate it then been sick ever sense I have stomach pains, fever, throwing up, and bowel trouble . to(o) week to drive to see a doctor Head spinning , still have what is left of the salad."

The reported symptoms are consistent with norovirus, the Denver-based company said. One of the accounts on the website also says a visit to the doctor revealed norovirus infection as the diagnosis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most outbreaks of the virus, occur in settings like restaurants. Infected food workers are frequently revealed to be the source of outbreaks, often by touching ready-to-eat food, such as raw fruits and vegetables, with their bare hands before serving them. Food such as leafy greens, fresh fruit and shellfish are commonly the source.

The virus can also spread if you are in contact with someone who is infected with norovirus, including sharing food or eating from the same utensils. Norovirus outbreaks can also occur from fecal contamination of certain food at their source. For example, oysters harvested from contaminated water and raspberries irrigated with contaminated water are known to have caused norovirus outbreaks.

The most common symptoms of the viral infection include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and in some cases even fevers and headaches. The diarrhea can also cause dehydration which might lead to dizziness when standing.

According to the CDC, norovirus is the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from contaminated food in the U.S.—about 50 percent. On an average, it contributes to about 56,000–71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths, mostly among young children and the elderly every year. It also causes 19–21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach or intestines or both) and leads to 1.7–1.9 million outpatient visits and 400,000 emergency department visits, primarily in young children.

It has also been reported that 1 in 5 food service workers have reported working while sick with vomiting and diarrhea, and 54 percent of outbreaks caused by these infected workers are because of them touching the food with their bare hands.

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Talking about the incident in Virginia, Jim Marsden, Chipotle's executive director of food safety, told Business Insider: "Norovirus does not come from our food supply, and it is safe to eat at Chipotle . We are working with health authorities to understand what the cause may be and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

David Goodfriend, director of the Loudoun County Health Department in Virginia, said while he wasn't certain the restaurant was the cause of the illnesses, people were associating their symptoms with the chain, reported ABC News.

This is not the first time a norovirus outbreak has been reported at a Chipotle restaurant. In August last year, 189 customers and 18 employees contracted norovirus in one of its restaurant in Simi Valley, California. The restaurant chain has been reeling from losses due to a series of food scares in recent years.

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