Norovirus Reportedly Striking Some Attendees At Republican Convention

There are reports of a particularly nasty virus striking the Republican National Convention:

CLEVELAND — The highly contagious norovirus appears to have hit the Republican National Convention.

A dozen California Republican Party staff members, who arrived last week in Ohio ahead of the state’s delegates, have fallen ill with the virus, said Jim Brulte, chairman of the state GOP.

So far, none of the state’s delegates appears to have caught the virus.

“Our best guess is that this came from California,” Brulte said. The first staffer to fall ill infected her spouse.

The delegates from California are staying at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, nearly 60 miles away from the Cleveland arena where the convention is being staged.

State party officials have suggested that delegates frequently wash their hands, avoid shaking hands and sharing food and to stay off delegation buses to the convention arena if they exhibit any symptoms of norovrius.

“You’ll know if you have it,” Cynthia Bryant, executive director of the state GOP, said, according to an email cited by the Sacramento Bee. “We will work out other means of transportation.”

The virus can be caught through contact from infected people or surfaces, or through consuming contaminated food or water. It spreads quickly in closed places, such as cruise ships, schools and nursing homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Norovirus inflames the stomach, the intestines — or both. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Such symptoms can be especially dangerous for young children and older adults.

Every year, about 19 to 21 million people become sick with norovirus; about 570 to 800 people die annually from it, according to the CDC.

The infected individuals first began showing symptoms on Thursday, and Erie County health officials have taken fecal samples for analysis, the Plain Dealer reported.

“It looks like the norovirus, but we’re not going to say that’s definitively what it is,” Erie County Health Commissioner Pete Schade told the newspaper.

The jokes, of course, are rather obvious, but given that Norovirus can have quite serious consequences and we’re talking about an event where thousands of people are crowded into very close quarters, one hopes that the spread of the virus can be limited as much as possible.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, Health, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Hal_10000 says:

    Norovirus inflames the stomach, the intestines — or both. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Such symptoms can be especially dangerous for young children and older adults.

    The RNC is giving me those symptoms anyway.

  2. Gustopher says:

    “Our best guess is that this came from California,” Brulte said. The first staffer to fall ill infected her spouse.

    Do you know what California has a lot of? Latinos. And illegal immigrants.

  3. wr says:

    I eagerly Paul Manafort explaining that this is Hillary Clinton’s fault.

    Or My Little Pony’s.

  4. Franklin says:

    Hopefully the folks at Kalahari Resort also stay out of the water there, because that’s a water park.

  5. Slugger says:

    @Gustopher: Norovirus was initially discovered in Norwalk, Ohio, hence the name. Norwalk is about fifty miles from Cleveland.

  6. stonetools says:

    Well, these folks have my thoughts and prayers.
    What? Do they want medical treatment too?
    I thought that in the light of thousands of gun deaths per year, thoughts and prayers were the only things that could be offered, instead of say, legislation or any action to help the situation.

    Or maybe thoughts and prayers are of no use, because God is punishing the Republicans for their sins of greed and hostility to the poor and the weak. Pat Robertson tells us that God can punish wrongdoers by bringing disease on them. And there certainly are Biblical texts that can support that proposition.

    More seriously , I hope that the CDC-that institution reviled and starved of funds by Republicans-takes whatever action necessary to check the spread of this disease. And best wishes to the victims and the first responders.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “Trump will do for America what he has done for the RNC!”

    Too long for a bumper sticker, maybe a t-shirt.

  8. Dazedandconfused says:

    Those symptoms will not be enough for diagnosis until Friday.

  9. gVOR08 says:

    Darn. So much potential apparently come to naught.