An gastrointestinal outbreak that affected at least seven attendees of the Colorado Future Business Leaders of America conference in Vail earlier in the week, has been confirmed to be norovirus.
The Eagle County Public Health Department made the announcement Friday. Seven people were treated and released from the Vail Valley Medical Center in the early morning of April 29 with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. Additional participants reported similar symptoms after returning home.
Approximately 2,000 students were in the area for the annual Colorado Future Business Leaders of America conference, which ended Tuesday. While the original source may never be determined, state and local health officials say it is likely a previously infected person traveled to the conference, spreading the highly contagious virus among other attendees.
Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
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 andwater, 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.