News has it that a group of at least a dozen staffers from the California delegation at the Republican Convention have fallen ill with norovirus. Possibly to the delight of some democrats, the virus is known for being extremely contagious, and a large inconvenience.
Norovirus is usually self-limiting and falling severely ill from the bacteria is rare, nonetheless, it does cause extreme vomiting and explosive diarrhea in those affected.
The virus causes the type of illness that can spread like wildfire in enclosed spaces such as schools, nursing homes and cruise ships, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How did it all start? Jim Brulte, California’s GOP chairman told the Washington Post that he believes a single staffer brought the virus across the country from California to Ohio, and then passed it on to a fellow staffer’s spouse.
A third of the California staffers- 12 out of 36- are now resting, trying to get over the illness so that they can return to convention duties.
Norovirus is spread through contact with infected people and surfaces or by consuming infected food and drink.
According to the CDC, about 19 to 21 million people fall ill with the virus each year and somewhere between 500 and 800 people actually die from it.
Health officials in Ohio are aware of the outbreak and delegates are being advised to wash their hands at every turn, use hand sanitizer and avoid contact by shaking hands.
Seeing as the individuals who have fallen sick are likely, (hopefully), hiding out in their hotel rooms until their health returns to normal, spreading the virus any further shouldn’t be a large concern.
Those infected are being advised to ‘keep away’ until at least 24 hours have passed, symptom-free.