July 20, 2016 – Those attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland should have little to worry about when it comes to a norovirus outbreak more than a hour away in Sandusky, OH.
The 11 staffers who were stricken are members of the advance team for the California delegation.The first illnesses began before the largest delegation arrived. By the time the California delegates arrived, quarantines were underway to keep those stricken advance team members away from them.
The resort hotel where the Californians are staying is in Erie County, OH, where Health Commissioner Peter Schade is charged with investigating the outbreak.
Shade says the Erie County Health Department has isolated the 11 who are ill and has taken steps to prevent the spread of norovirus to rest of the California delegation. Tests are underway to confirm norovirus as the cause of the illnesses.
The first to become ill was an advance team member, who then infected her husband. The resort hotel where the delegation is staying has a large indoor waterpark, which is seen as a favorable environment for norovirus.
The California delegation received emails early in the morning of the first day of the convention with instructions on precautions to take. The hotel set up hand sanitizing stations throughout the property.
Norovirus can be spread by food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Symptoms including both diarrhea and vomiting along with stomach pain and nausea, typically beginning in 12 to 48 hours after exposure. Most people recover in one to three days. The advance team members are being asked to wait 24 hours after they are feeling better before getting back buses to Cleveland.
The convention ends Thursday night when Donald Trump is scheduled to accept the GOP nomination for President of the United States.
The United States experiences 19 to 21 million cases of norovirus annually, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.