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Published On: Sun, Apr 28th, 2013

‘Dancing with the Runs’: Norovirus outbreak hits Saskatchewan dance competition

An  outbreak of the gastrointestinal virus, norovirus, hit a dance competition at the TCU Place in Saskatoon, sickening hundreds of competitors, according to a CTV News report Friday.

 

Norovirus  Image/CDC

Norovirus Image/CDC

Officials from the Saskatoon Health Region say between 250 and 500 people are showing symptoms of the virus. “We’ve been following up with the dance schools and receiving reports of student illness amongst their dancers and between 25 and 50 per cent of students who attended the dance competition are reporting symptoms,” Dr. Julie Kryzanowski, Saskatoon’s deputy medical health officer, said Friday.

Wendy Spicer, who is the director of the Martin School of Dance in Regina, said that the kids and parents were getting sick early in the week. She said that the children kept  “dropping like flies.”

Since many of the dancers will be competing in other competitions, Dr. Kryzanowski said, “We’ve been communicating with all the dance schools that have been involved as well as the venue and the organization team that put this together, giving information about infection control measures.”

She advises anyone showing the symptoms of the infection, diarrhea and vomiting, to stay home.

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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    […] CTV News 'Dancing with the Runs': Norovirus outbreak hits Saskatchewan dance competition The Global Dispatch An outbreak of the gastrointestinal virus, norovirus, hit a dance competition at the TCU Place in Saskatoon, sickening hundreds of…  […]

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