An outbreak of acute gastrointestinal infection that has sickened some 252 hospital employees at the Hospital of Bellvitge is likely due to norovirus, according to The Public Health Agency of Catalonia via an El Espanol report (computer translated).


Health officials report all of the cases were considered mild and despite the high number of cases, it didn’t affect the operations of the hospital.

Two of the patients were confirmed to have norovirus, thus health officials believe this is the etiology of the outbreak. The preliminary investigation reveals the source of the infection is snacks served in the cafeteria.

Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.

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 and water, 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.