By: Steve Dellar | 02-06-2018 | News
Photo credit: Twitter @matt_kwong

Norovirus Hits Winter Olympics

Though the South Korean city of Pyeongchang is logistically completely ready to open the Winter Olympics this Friday, an outbreak of the norovirus has organizers worried.

The spread of the highly contagious disease amongst staff is worrying Games chief Mr. Lee Hee-beom.

As athletes from all over the world descend on the South Korean town, Mr. Lee claimed that preparations for the first winter Olympics in Asia outside of Japan were complete.

“We are fully operational with many of our athletes and officials here and settling into their life in the villages and training is underway at all venues.”

However, some 1,200 private security staff will need to be replaced at the last moment as a fear of the norovirus spreading amongst them forces South Korean organizers to call in the army pending on the outcome of medical tests.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">1,200 <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Olympic</a> guards withdrawn over <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#norovirus</a> outbreak <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Sarah Jones Reports (@SarahJReports) <a href="">February 6, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Mr Lee continued: “As a president of the organising committee, I would like to apologise for this.”

“Our disease control center other related government agencies here are now discussing countermeasures and will come up with proper measures and will be announced soon.”

The highly contagious norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis due to food poisoning, otherwise known as an infection of the stomach and intestines.

It causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">There has been an outbreak of <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Norovirus</a> in the <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Olympic</a> village at <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pyeongchang</a>. 31 people have been hospitalized. In addition, some footage of a rag that was used wipe a toilet being used to wipe drinking glasses at a five star (?) hotel was released by the Korean media. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Iron Klaus (@Iron_Klaus) <a href="">February 5, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Given that the first suspected case appeared last week Thursday already, the organizing committee and Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are getting criticized for their delayed response in handling the situation.


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