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Number infected by norovirus reaches 283 at Olympics in PyeongChang

Number infected by norovirus reaches 283 at Olympics in PyeongChang
The PyeongChang Organizing Committee has confirmed that the number of people diagnosed with norovirus has reached 283, with eight cases being registered within 24 hours, TASS reported on Monday.

Despite countermeasures undertaken by the local organizers, the number of people infected by the virus is still growing. Several days before the opening ceremony of the Games, 1,200 security guards working at Olympic venues were replaced by South Korean military to prevent a potential epidemic after 40 security staff presented with norovirus symptoms.

The news immediately sparked fears that the disease might spread among the Olympic participants and affect their performance. It was  confirmed on Friday that two of the Swiss freestyle-skiing team had contracted norovirus, which causes vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea. Both athletes, however, were staying at a hotel outside the Olympic Village, and had minimal contact with other participants.

Jim Wisniewski, father of US Olympian and former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman James Wisniewski, has been diagnosed with norovirus after visiting the men’s hockey tournament in PyeongChang.

The younger Wisniewski said that his 62-year-old father, who is now in quarantine, was taken to hospital by ambulance after showing the symptoms of the virus.

Ice-hockey players were ordered to fist-bump without removing their gloves after games, rather than shaking hands, in order to prevent possible transmission of the highly contagious disease.

Out of 283 confirmed cases of norovirus, 234 people have already recovered and returned to duty, while 49 still remain in quarantine. Last year’s World Athletics Championship in London was also marred by a norovirus outbreak, which sidelined several athletes who were forced to skip the competition.