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Published On: Fri, Jun 29th, 2012

Suspected norovirus sickens more than 100 kids attending Notre Dame sports camp

 University of Notre Dame

Public domain photo/Swstadel at the English Wikipedia project

“The first suspicion is probably what we call a norovirus. This is the same virus that hits cruise ships,” said Dr. Thomas Felger on Wednesday after 107 middle and high school kids attending a Notre Dame sports camps suddenly became sick.

Health investigators in Indiana say of the kids who fell ill, their symptoms  included vomiting, nausea and diarrhea, 29 required hospitalization.

According to an ABC 57 News report, the St. Joseph County Health Department said it believes the kids have food poisoning or have the norovirus. Laboratory confirmation will take a couple of days to identify the culprit.

Because norovirus is very “hardy” and can survive outside the body for a long time, the St. Joseph County Health Department’s Dr. Thomas Felger said cleaning and sanitizing of the dorms and common areas is required to stop the spread.

The University of Notre Dame is working closely with health officials to determine the cause.

The kids were taking part in football, hockey, women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse and women’s tennis camps.

Norovirus is a highly contagious illness caused by infection with a virus of the same name. It is often called by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.

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 typically spread 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.

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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