Norovirus 2016 outbreak: Latest bout of the stomach flu has hit scientists in Santa Fe and passengers aboard a Disney Wonder cruise ship.
Norovirus has stricken over 30 scientists attending the conference held at the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza hotel. Scientists came from the universities of Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and other local and international prestigious biomedical research hubs. Those affected experienced vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, although only one was sent to the hospital for urgent care.
The source of the norovirus is still undetected, but the Hilton notified health officials immediately and rolled out sanitization efforts right away. The Hilton even began ordering food from outside vendors even though the kitchen was not deemed the source. Fellow guests staying at the hotel did not get ill, which suggests that the virus may have come from an outside source.
For all scientists who fell ill, test results came back positive for norovirus. Surveys have been sent out to all attendees to determine what they had eaten or come into contact with.
Over 100 people fell ill and experienced the symptomatic vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship while it was making its way to Bahamas. So far, nine other cruise ship outbreaks have been seen. The last time a Disney cruise ship had an outbreak was back in 2002.
Additional sanitation efforts were put forth on the ship, although Disney cruise ships typically have numerous sanitation areas offering hand sanitizer. Self-serve buffets and ice cream stations were temporarily shut down to limit passengers’ food handling.
Testing of stool samples from affected passengers is underway to confirm diagnosis.
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