| February 08, 2020 10:41 AM
Louisiana state health officials are investigating a norovirus outbreak that infected at least 200 people in a casino.
Health officials confirmed that norovirus caused hundreds of people who visited L’Auberge Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to fall ill last weekend. Norovirus is a gastrointestinal illness that causes vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. The disease is highly contagious.
Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh, the agency’s regional medical director, noted that at least 200 had self-reported symptoms to the illness, but the total number of individuals infected could be higher, and it could spread beyond those who visited the casino.
“How it started at this point doesn’t really matter anymore, because now we are getting transmission within the community,” she said. “So, however people picked it up in that setting, they are now taking it home and spreading it from one family member to another family member to another family member, so that is the real message that we need to get out today.”
The Department of Health has requested that individuals who fall ill with norovirus report their symptoms in an online survey so officials can track the virus.
The casino also posted a statement to its website noting that it is taking extra precautions to ensure the building is sanitized: “L’Auberge Lake Charles has stringent sanitation procedures in place. In addition, we are reminding guests and team members to regularly wash their hands and take other health safety precautions.”