Suspected Norovirus Outbreak Strikes Olympic Games in Pyeongchang
The virus, which causes vomiting and diarrhea, has reportedly caused the quarantine of some 1,200 security staff. The South Korean military is currently taking over the security role, as staff is tested for norovirus.
“The military personnel … will be responsible for security checks of the 20 venues as they take up jobs such as security searches, previously done by civilian safety personnel, until the patients’ condition is normalized,” a statement from the South Korean Olympic committee said.
Norovirus at the Olympics
With the opening ceremony scheduled for Friday, 41 security guards are currently hospitalized, Associated Press reported. Officials are examining food and water sources to determine where the sickness originated.
Norovirus usually occurs in places where large groups of people are sharing a small space. The virus often spreads quickly when sick people are preparing food or when the water supply becomes contaminated.
Unusually cold weather may also be contributing to the spread of the illness, Fortune reported.
How to Avoid Norovirus
Travelers can protect themselves by washing hands and food carefully and making sure to avoid food or other surfaces that a sick person may have touched, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Those who are infected will start to experience symptoms within 1-3 days.