French health authorities have reported (computer translated) that the nasty gastrointestinal bug, norovirus, is behind the more than 1,000 illnesses among participants at  Mud Day in Levens (Alpes-Maritimes) last week.

Image/Video Screen Shot
Image/Video Screen Shot

Regional Health Agency Paca says more than 1,000 people, among the 8400 participants were reported to the ARS Paca with symptoms of gastroenteritis, mainly diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and some fever. These symptoms persisted for a few hours and were followed by intense fatigue. At least one person required hospitalization for their illness.

The virus was confirmed late last week in samples taken from the sick people.

According to the official Mud Day website (computer translated):

The Mud Day is an extreme event, unusual, that test your physical and mental abilities. The Mud Day, it is a challenge of about 13 km over 20 obstacles inspired by obstacle course. On the menu, water, electricity, ice and especially mud and glory.

In each edition, you will recover the iconic obstacles The Mud Day: So get ready to face “Crawling Time”, “Got Biceps? “Or” Ice Crime “. But each time, The Mud Day will also prepare you some surprises and unique obstacles!


This is very similar to a story that happened almost two years ago to the day when Michigan health officials received numerous reports of gastrointestinal illness (abdominal cramping, fever, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea and/or vomiting) from people who attended the Tough Mudder race on June 29-30 at Michigan International Speedway.

At this obstacle course, more than 200 participants contracted norovirus, which was likely introduced onto the course by an ill participant.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  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 about 21 million illnesses and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States.

Although norovirus goes by many nicknames, “food poisoning” or “stomach flu” for example, Norovirus illness is not related to the flu (influenza), which is a respiratory illness caused by influenza virus.