Forty-two more cases of norovirus have been confirmed at the 2018 Winter Olympics, bringing the total to 128 on the eve of the start of the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
On Thursday, organizers put out hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer, requiring athletes and anyone else entering the cafeteria to use it, the New York Times reported. But numerous studies have shown such sanitizers do little to kill the norovirus.
Posters appeared all over the Olympic grounds, encouraging people to wash their hands and observe proper cough etiquette and other acts of personal hygiene.
More than 1,000 people have been quarantined as organizers rush to halt the spread of the virus, which can cause bouts of vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, the Times reported Thursday.
Earlier in the week, the South Korean military was called in to replace more than 1,000 security staff afflicted by the virus.
The outbreak started Feb. 1. A week later, 97 cases had been reported at Horeb Youth Centre, a dormitory that housed many local security staff members. Eleven more were in PyeongChang and 20 were in Gangneung, the Times reported.
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis, or infection of the stomach and intestines, due to food poisoning. Highly contagious and active at low temperatures, norovirus causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. People become infected by eating or drinking contaminated substances, touching contaminated surfaces and coming into contact with an infected individual.
With a 24- to 48-hour incubation period, the virus can also cause muscle aches, headaches and fever. In severe cases, patients require hydration therapy.
There is no available vaccine or treatment options for the virus. Symptoms usually subside within one to three days.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control offers these tips to fight norovirus.
Source: Food Safety News