Nashville Metro Public Health Department officials have been working closely with Opryland Hotel representatives since Thursday morning to investigate an increase in gastrointestinal illness at the Opryland Hotel. Symptoms of the illness included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Metro Public Health officials obtained stool specimens today and delivered them to the Tennessee Department of Health’s laboratory for testing. Preliminary lab results indicate at least one person has tested positive for Norovirus.
An Opryland representative contacted the Health Department yesterday after seeing a recent increase in gastrointestinal illness at the hotel. Metro Health officials visited the hotel yesterday and today. According to Health officials, Opryland is going above and beyond the Health Department’s recommended cleaning and disinfecting measures to stop the spread of germs.
Health officials have not confirmed the number of those who were ill. Anyone who is currently ill should contact their health care provider if they are concerned about symptoms. Health officials will continue to investigate what might have caused illness, including interviews with those who were ill and those not ill. The contact investigation is expected to take several days.
Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.
Anyone can be infected with norovirus and get sick. Also, you can have norovirus illness many times in your life. Norovirus illness can be serious, especially for young children and older adults.
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes 19-21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000-71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths.
The best way to help prevent norovirus is to practice proper hand washing and general cleanliness.