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Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2013

Dozens sickened at Michigan Tough Mudder, norovirus suspected

The Lenawee County Health Department (LCHD) has received numerous reports of gastrointestinal illness (abdominal cramping, fever, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea and/or vomiting) from people who attended the Tough Mudder race on June 29-30 at Michigan International Speedway, according to a posting on their website.

Obstacle course Image/Video Screen Shot

Obstacle course
Image/Video Screen Shot

Although the exact etiologic agent has not been identified yet, health authorities suspect norovirus, as they linked to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) norovirus website.

Several participants of last weekends event talked about their illness on Tough Mudder’s Facebook page:

“I ran the Michigan Tough Mudder on Sunday. It was great but did anyone get sick about 24 hours later? People on my time and I have been throwing up all night”, one woman posted.

Another participant said, “I got sick and so did 3 of my teammates. We ran the race on Saturday. Sounds like what everyone else is talking about (diarrhea/vomiting). Miserable. Is there anyone else we should contact? I keep hearing of more people who got sick (not on our team.)”

The LCHD said is working with the Michigan Department of Community Health to determine the cause of the outbreak.

According to the Tough Mudder website, Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the “stomach flu,” or gastroenteritis in people.

The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.

Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typicallyspread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.

The highly contagious norovirus is the second leading infectious cause of gastroenteritis-associated deaths accounting for 800 annually. Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. France: Norovirus the cause of ‘Mud Day’ outbreak, 1000 sickened | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] is very similar to a story that happened almost two years ago to the day when Michigan health officials received numerous reports of gastrointestinal illness (abdominal cramping, fever, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea and/or […]

  2. Michigan health officials confirm ‘Tough Mudder’ outbreak caused by norovirus - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a follow-up to a story Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Bureau of Laboratories confirmed that the […]

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