165 sick from norovirus at Canadian student journalism conference up from 75

The Victoria Times Colonist (that’s in British Columbia, in Canada) reports 147 delegates are believed to have contracted norovirus during the final night of a four-day university journalism conference at the Harbour Towers Hotel and Suites, and the final tally has yet to come.

More than one- third of the 370 delegates attending the Canadian University Press national conference went down with severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Eighteen hotel staff also contracted the virus about 24 hours after the first few students showed symptoms, according to hotel management.

"That’s a really significant outbreak," said Dr. Murray Fyfe, chief medical health officer for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. "And the fact that we had people who were perfectly well and then became ill after coming into contact with others or got sick when they got home, that’s really typical of norovirus."

The highly contagious virus kept some delegates isolated in their hotel rooms for days before they could check out.