Norovirus fells over a hundred at New York school function

“For about 5 hours, I wanted to die.”

That sums up my experiences with norovirus, but this quote comes from Jennifer Schadt, a mom who attended a Harrison, NY awards banquet with her son on April 30. According to the Journal News, at least 110 Rye High School  teachers, parents and students were barfing and had the runs after eating at the Willow Ridge Country Club.1399675963000-GetContentCA2G9NJE

Nanami Kanno, 17, a junior at the school, said she and her mother became sick two days after the dinner, suffering stomach pains for a couple of days before feeling better.

“It was horrible,” she said. “It was suppose to be a good night for students who got awards but it turned out to be a bad night because of the food.”

The Westchester Department of Health, which takes the lead investigating disease outbreaks, said its policy is not to inform the general public when there is a norovirus outbreak, only the people it believes to be affected, spokeswoman Caren Halbfinger said.

Willow Ridge manager Scott Garvin said the facility was cleaned and has been allowed to reopen. It appeared to be closed Friday night.

Both Rye High School and Rye Middle School were sanitized to try to stem spread of the disease, Superintendent Frank Alvarez told parents.


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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.