11 reportedly sickened in norovirus outbreak at RNC

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As many as 11 members of the California delegation at the Republican National Convention (RNC) may have been infected by norovirus, reports suggest.

According to STAT News, the Erie County health commissioner is investigating the possible outbreak at the Cleveland convention. The affected delegates are staying at a hotel in Sandusky, about an hour from Cleveland; some delegates and alternates are staying at two other locations.

“We’ve got about 11 who have been sick over the last few days, and we’ve been out there every day and working with them to eliminate the spread [between] the resort and the delegation from California,” Erie County health commissioner Peter Schade told STAT.

The Republican staffers are undergoing tests to confirm whether they have the contagious virus, a common problem among cruise ship passengers.

The first infected staff member infected her husband, Jim Brulte, the California delegation chairman, told STAT. Infected staff members are being quarantined until they haven’t shown symptoms for 24 hours.

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According to STAT, the delegates’ hotel has a large indoor water park— a potential breeding ground for norovirus. Hand sanitizer stations have been added, and delegates have been advised on precautions to avoid illness.

Norovirus is spread by infected individuals, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces, and causes the stomach, intestines, or both to get inflamed. Symptoms— stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting— develop 12 to 48 hours after exposure and most people improve within 1 to 3 days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus causes 19 to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach, intestines or both).