The organizers of the Winter Olympics 2018 have mobilized all human resources and resources to prevent the spread of norovirus on a large scale, possibly spreading the athletes after the number of cases nearly tripled overnight.
According to Reuters, none of the 86 athletes were identified as infected with the virus causing vomiting and diarrhea. Two days before the opening of the Winter Olympics last year, organizers said they were doing everything they could to ensure the outbreak did not break out. Because if any athlete is infected, especially the famous stars, it will put the Korean host in a dilemma.
Accordingly, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a press conference to inform the situation related to norovirus disease. Mr. Kim Hyun-Jun – director of the center, said: “On 6.2, we recorded 32 cases, but today we confirm an additional 54 cases, bringing the total to 86 norovirus infections”. According to local media, three of the infected cases were in the food preparation section of the media village, the journalists’ accommodation area. Therefore, the virus may have spread through contaminated food and water.
Earlier, South Korea sent 900 soldiers to guard the 2018 Winter Olympics venues in place of 1,200 security personnel withdrawn and quarantined after the norovirus outbreak. Security personnel are currently gathered at the young athlete training center in Pyeongchang, separate from the Olympic venues this winter, which is considered the “epicenter” of this virus infection. Mr. Kim stressed that no athlete had been recorded to be infected with the virus. They would do their best to prevent any kind of accident that could prevent them from competing and enjoying the annual event.
According to AFP, quarantining infected people for 48 to 72 hours, and installing hand sanitizers at venues are two of the emergency measures imposed by organizers. Lowell Bailey – American triathlon winter (skiing, cross-country, shooting), expressed his concern on AFP: “I think athletes have endurance, we always trying to find the right balance between light-headed episodes and maintaining a comfortable mood in this situation: an epidemic occurs, someone is infected but the key is to keep focus and follow the what can be done”.