Virus hits DC airport hotel

January 19, 2007

Public health workers Friday tried to track down the source of a contagious virus that sickened guests and workers at a hotel near Washington.

About 100 people at the Hilton Washington Dulles Hotel became sick in the outbreak of the norovirus, the Washington Post reported.

Fairfax County (Va.) Health Department spokeswoman Kimberly Cordero said her agency was trying to determine how the outbreak started.

"If someone is ill with the virus, preparing food, a cook or waitstaff, they can spread it," Lucy Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the state Health Department's Northern Virginia region, told the Post. She called the Hilton hotel "very cooperative."

Dozens of guests accepted the hotel's offer to move to other lodging, and the hotel stopped taking reservations as it began sanitizing its facilities.

Norovirus can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. While the symptoms may go away in two days, people carrying the virus can remain contagious, the Post said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: How can health officials help contain the panic over outbreaks and epidemics?

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