Viral infection believed cause of convention illnesses in St. Louis

Friday, October 26, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis health officials believe a viral infection caused an outbreak of illnesses last month at a national conference of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

A MADD spokesman says that 127 conventioneers were stricken with the stomach and intestinal illness. At least 12 were treated at hospitals.

The event took place at the Renaissance Grand Hotel downtown. About 500 people attended. Most ate together at breakfast and lunch.

The city health department's report on the incident suspects a norovirus, an intestinal virus that can be associated with food preparation. But officials could not pinpoint an obvious source.

MADD officials begin talks next week with the hotel over payment of medical bills and other compensation.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

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