40 visiting students ill with probable norovirus at George Mason University
Posted: June 24th, 2012 - 8:20pm
Norovirus, the perfect human pathogen, strikes again. According to WUSA9.com, up to 40 students became ill while attending a Congressional Award Foundation camp at George Mason University. The award for a journalist attempting to be witty goes to the on-the-spot reporter Peggy Fox who said "They went to a Nats game last night and came down with the home runs." Not the most tasteful thing to say when there are 21 kids who are hospitalized.
The Fairfax County Health Department said Thursday that it was investigating an outbreak that occurred among students participating in a program sponsored by the Congressional Award Foundation.
About 40 of the 80 students became ill. Physician Peter Troell with the county health department said the students likely contracted viral gastroenteritis, which causes vomiting and diarrhea.
Students started becoming sick on their way to a Nationals game Wednesday night. More students became ill during and after the game. Officials say that on the bus trip back from the game, the bus driver detoured to George Washington University Hospital where six students were admitted.
Overnight and Thursday morning, more students became ill and 15 more were hospitalized and treated for dehydration. Of the 40 students who became ill, 21 were hospitalized.
Troell says that the epidemiology points away from food as a source as not everyone at the same foods. Maybe the virus originated with common food handler, or an already ill participant who showed up with symptoms?