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Norovirus Outbreak Strikes the Republican Convention in Cleveland

Bad news for massive crowds

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Republican National Convention got off to a rocky start in Cleveland Monday, with in-fighting and a plagiarized speech dominating the headlines. Adding injury to insult, it appears an outbreak of norovirus has hit Donald Trump's nomination party. The Los Angeles Times reports "at least a dozen" GOP delegate staffers have come down with norovirus symptoms.

Testing is underway. While nothing has been confirmed just yet, Erie County (Ohio) health commissioner Pete Schade told the Times "it certainly looks like norovirus," and he believes the virus may have been brought to the convention from California by a sick infant. The staffers have been quarantined in their Sandusky, Ohio, hotel, which is roughly an hour away from the convention site at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.

No serious illnesses have been reported, though "a couple" of the staffers have visited an area hospital to receive intravenous fluids, according to the Times. The outbreak must be particularly troubling for Trump, who is notoriously afraid of foodborne illness.

The Centers for Disease Control describes norovirus as "the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from contaminated food in the United States." It's highly contagious, and those who are infected typically experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Norovirus played a major role in fallen burrito chain Chipotle's disastrous stretch of public health failures over the last year.

Eater has reached out to Schade for more information.

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