Last Friday, the PyeongChang Winter Olympics began in South Korea, and this is the very first time that they have hosted a Winter Olympics. The last time they hosted a Summer Olympics was in 1988 that was held in Seoul.
This is also considered to be one of the costliest Winter Olympics since it has been reported that $10 billion was the estimated cost just for this event. This is also a history-making event because North Korea has sent their own representatives with Kim Jong Un’s sister overseeing the event. This is the very first time that any of their family has stepped into South Korea.
However, this is not the biggest news in the 2018 Winter Olympics, because unfortunately there have been reports of cases of norovirus, continue reading to find out more.
Norovirus Hits Winter Olympics
The Olympics is always such a great way for nations to have a friendly competition and be able to showcase what their people could do when it comes to sports, which is why when the news broke out that cases of norovirus have been confirmed.
This is not just a random 2-3 cases, it is definitely a lot bigger than that because over 1000 Olympics staffers have been confined and are set to be tested for the norovirus. These workers consist of people from the Civil Security as well as some foreign staff.
What is even crazier is that this norovirus breakout happened just a couple of days before the Olympics begin. Which is why the security personnel was pulled out and over 900 South Korean military personnel were asked to be there and substitute for the security workers who were supposed to be on duty when the Olympics begin.
According to the executive director of this 2018 Winter Olympics, they had to get every area disinfected right away, as well as sanitize everything that may have been used by the personnel who were reported to have norovirus. The food and beverages were also under a strict measure.
177 Norovirus Cases So Far; No Deaths Has Been Reported
As of this weekend, the Korean officials have confirmed that there is a foal of 177 cases that have been confirmed by the medical team at the Winter Olympics so far. There were 19 new cases and some of them were members of the security personnel.
Most Olympics guards have experienced severe vomiting as well as diarrhea and were all taken to the hospital. The good news is that despite the increasing numbers of people being affected by the norovirus, almost 70 of them have been released from quarantine which was reported by the PyeongChang organizing committee or the POCOG.
According to CNN, that security personnel who got the norovirus, were staying in the same building, which is why the organization had to disinfect that entire area including all the buses as well as the accommodation and this is to be able to prevent the disease from spreading since this is considered to be such a contagious disease.
What Is Norovirus?
Norovirus is known as ‘winter vomiting bug’ or a cold stomach bug. The security personnel who were affected by this all had the same symptoms of severe headache, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is highly contagious which is why they had to be put in quarantine.
Medical experts believe that if they weren’t quarantined and if it wasn’t detected right away, millions of people including the athletes would be at stake and the Olympics may be canceled. This bug is coming during the winter but is not considered as deadly, in fact, it only lasts for about two to three days.
According to Amesh A. Adalja, who is a senior scholar from the Hopkins Center for Health Security, Norovirus is something that anyone can basically get and that if a person in a house gets infected, all of the people living in that same house will easily be infected.
Direct contact from the infected person as well as using the things that the person have been using and even food, drinks, and surfaces could be infected, which is why it is so easy to get it if not get disinfected right away. Particles spread from the air so when someone coughs or a person infected uses the toilet and you use it afterward, you’ll get infected right away, this is now according to the Center for Disease and Prevention.