A terrifying word circulated Tuesday at the Republican National Convention: norovirus.
A dozen staffers in the California delegation who had arrived in Cleveland early have fallen ill with the extremely contagious virus, California GOP chairman Jim Brulte said.
The virus causes extreme vomiting and diarrhea and has been known to spread explosively through people in closed places, such as cruise ships, schools and nursing homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Brulte said that, so far, no delegates or alternates have shown symptoms. He said his delegation will continuing to attend the convention at Quicken Loans Arena, where the Californians sit next to the Maryland delegation.
The delegates from California are staying at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, nearly 60 miles away from Cleveland. Brulte said the delegates and their guests were spending the day Tuesday at the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky or at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio — or just relaxing at the Kalahari Resort.
Brulte said he believes one staffer brought the virus to Ohio from California and then passed it to the staffer’s spouse. Soon, 12 of the 36 staffers were sick.
The infected individuals first began showing symptoms on Thursday, and Erie County health officials have taken fecal samples for analysis, the Plain Dealer reported.
State party officials alerted the delegation Monday morning to the norovirus outbreak and briefed attendees again Tuesday. They also informed Ohio health officials.
“We will continue to follow all county health department directives to keep the illness from spreading. We wish our staffers a speedy recovery,” Kaitlyn MacGregor, executive director of the California GOP, said in an email to The Post.
They have instructed delegates to wash their hands frequently, use sanitizers, and avoid shaking hands (something, as it happens, that Donald Trump has long been loath to do). They also should not share food and have been told to stay off delegation buses to the convention arena if they exhibit any symptoms of norovrius.
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SOURCE: Joel Achenbach, Elahe Izadi and Ed O’Keefe
The Washington Post