Some 80 people were sickened with the classic symptoms of norovirus–vomiting, nausea, diarrhea over the weekend after an event, in which hundreds of dancers, parents and coaches convened for the three-day 24-Seven Dance event in Rochester, NY.
By Tuesday, health officials in Monroe County reported getting calls from people with the symptoms of the gastrointestinal bug.
700 to 800 dancers from the US and Canada attended the event at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center which prompted a health department investigation and the cancelling of other events at the convention center.
The Monroe County Health Department is testing the food and the water supply at the convention center.
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.
Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually in the US, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.