Students, parents and teaches attending an annual dinner at Willow Ridge CC in Harrison, N.Y. fell ill over the next five days. The club’s facility has been cleaned and allowed to reopen by the local health department; school buildings were also sanitized.
More than 100 students, parents and teachers from Rye (N.Y.) High School who attended an annual dinner celebrating their academic achievement that was held at Willow Ridge Country Club in Harrison, N.Y. on Wednesday night, April 30, fell ill from a suspected norovirus over the following five days, the Journal News Media Group of White Plains, N.Y., reported on its LoHud.com website.
All who fell ill were expected to recover, Karina Stabile, a school spokeswoman, told the website.
Among those who attended the annual Scholars Dinner at the club fell ill days later, Stabile told LoHud.com, approximately 85 people beginning to experience vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach pain and other symptoms associated with the illness by Friday, May 2, and 25 more by the following Monday.
Scott Garvin, CCM, Willow Ridge’s General Manager/COO, told LoHud.com that the club facility where the outbreak had occurred had been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and was being allowed to reopen by the Westchester (N.Y.) County Department of Health.
CBS New York reported that the health department said that one of the guests at the dinner had already been infected and was being suspected as the source of spreading the virus to the group.
CBS New York also reported that Frank Alvarez, Superintendent of Rye, N.Y. public schools had sent a letter to parents which stated that
“The health department has given us a number of recommendations to implement in order to contain and stop the spread of this virus.
“The Rye High School and Middle School have both undergone a thorough cleaning process over the weekend,” Alvarez’s letter said, “but we also need your help to break the chain of infection.”
School officials were also asking that any students who were experiencing the symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness stay home for at least two days, CBS New York reported.
The location of the dinner was not originally reported by the Westchester County Department of Health. Caren Halbginfer, a spokeswoman for the department, explained to LoHud.com that the department’s policy is not to inform the general public when there is a norovirus outbreak, but only the people it believes to be affected.
“There is no risk to the general public and the people who were at risk were notified,” Halbfinger said. “Therefore, there is no reason to publicly disclose the names of the institutions affected.” The department expects establishments involved with outbreaks to “self-identify,” she added.
The county health department visited both the school and the country club, Halbfinger told LoHud.com, after getting reports of the illnesses.
Norovirus is the most common cause of both acute gastroenteritis and food-borne disease outbreaks nationwide and spreads quickly through restaurants, catering halls, cruise ships and nursing homes, LoHud.com noted.
Proper hand-washing with soap and water and isolating infected people are key to stopping the spread, it was noted.
There is no remedy for norovirus symptoms, LoHud.com reported, although some people might require treatment for weakness and dehydration caused by severe vomiting and diarrhea.