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MDCH Confirms Norovirus in Tough Mudder Investigation Participants with Symptoms Urged to Stay Home, Prevent the Spread



LANSING - During the first week in July, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) was notified by the Lenawee County Health Department of a cluster of illnesses in individuals who participated or were spectators at the 2013 Michigan Tough Mudder Event held in Brooklyn, Mich. during June 29-30, 2013. More than 200 reports of gastrointestinal symptoms in event attendees have been received since July 1. Today, July 5, the MDCH Bureau of Laboratories confirmed that the outbreak was caused by norovirus.   


Symptoms of norovirus infection include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In addition, people may experience a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for one to two days.


Norovirus is transmitted through touching virus-contaminated surfaces and objects, eating or drinking contaminated food, or by direct person-to-person contact. It is highly transmittable and hand sanitizers are not effective against the virus. Good personal hygiene, including frequent hand washing with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds is crucial to preventing the spread of the disease.


Areas contaminated with vomit and diarrhea, such as bathrooms, should be frequently disinfected with household chlorine bleach-based cleaners. Ill persons should stay home for at least 48-72 hours after their symptoms resolve. In addition, ill persons should not prepare for or share food or drinks with others. Soiled clothing and linens should be washed immediately on the highest temperature setting.


There is no specific medication to treat norovirus. Ill persons should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and visit their health care provider if they are concerned about their illness. Norovirus outbreaks are very common. Since January 1, 2013, 119 suspected outbreaks of norovirus have been reported in Michigan. you attended this event and have questions about norovirus, please contact your local health department. More information on norovirus is also available at:


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