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Virus made several dozen children sick at BYU sports camps

By Dennis Romboy | Posted - Jun. 21, 2011 at 4:44 p.m.


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PROVO — A gastrointestinal virus spread through youth sports camps at BYU earlier this month leaving several dozen children sick.

What is ... Norovirus
Norovirus infection can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting. The symptoms usually begin with in 24 to 48 hours after exposure and may last a few days. Most people recover completely without treatment, but in some people — especially infants, older adults and people with underlying disease — vomiting and diarrhea can be severely dehydrating and require medical attention. -Mayo Clinic

About 60 teenagers experienced stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea during the week of June 6-10, said Lance Madigan, Utah County Department of Health spokesman. Health officials attributed the flu-like symptoms to the norovirus, a fast-acting, highly contagious illness often occurring in a contained environment such as a cruise ship or dormitory, he said.

Noroviruses spread from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. People usually become sick within 24 hours of exposure and get over it in less than 48 hours.

"We can't find a case zero, so to speak," Madigan said. "It reacts so quickly that it's hard to pin it down to a specific person."

BYU officials notified parents and thoroughly cleaned areas where campers eat and sleep, he said. The health department, he said, did not put out a general health alert because the virus stayed in a small area.

There were no reports of illness in the past week. "BYU reacted well to address the issue and it's all over now," Madigan said.

Email:dromboy@ksl.com

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Dennis Romboy

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