Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

London 2017 organisers quarantine hotel floor after gastroenteritis outbreak

Turkey's Ramil Guliyev crosses the line to win gold in the men's 200-meter final during the World Athletics Championships in London Thursday Aug. 10 2017. ORG XMIT EM155 London 2017 hit by serious sickness bug which has ripped through one of the official team hotels
Marlene Weaver | 12 August, 2017, 02:35

The number of people to have reported illness amid an outbreak of norovirus at the IAAF World Championships has increased to "approximately 40".

Two athletes due to compete were forced to withdraw from their events after complaints of uneasiness.

Botswana's Isaac Makwala was also struck down with the bug but given medical dispensation to withdraw from the 200m heats on Monday night.

Athletes from Germany and Canada were among those who stayed at the Tower Hotel in London who got sick last week.

Athletes with symptoms including diarrheoa and vomiting began presenting last week with the illness apparently centred around one of the official hotels.

According to Dr Deborah Turbitt, PHE London deputy director for health protection, "Approximately 30 people have reported illness and 2 of these cases have been confirmed as norovirus by laboratory testing". We have worked collaboratively with the EHO (Environmental Health Officer) and IAAF to investigate the origins of the illness and can confirm that the hotel was not the source of the illness.

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A hotel spokesman added: "We have followed strict hygiene protocol".

Makwala was withdrawn from the 200-metre heats on Monday after vomiting in the call room where athletes make their final preparations. "I'm gutted to have to withdraw from the semi-final".

"It is highly infectious and with vast numbers of people - athletes, site personnel and visitors - in such close proximity, exposure to affected individuals can not be contained easily".

A number of other athletes staying at the same hotel also have gastroenteritis, including the Ireland 400m hurdler Thomas Barr.

"Those affected have been supported by both team and LOC [Local Organizing Committee] medical staff, in addition we have been working with Public Health England to ensure the situation is managed and contained".

The IAAF World Championships in London kicked off on August 4 and will continue until August 13.

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