Students journalism conference ends on a sour note

Norovirus postpones flights home after several students fall ill

Most student journalists attending a conference in Victoria last week were home by Monday, after being delayed because of a suspected outbreak of norovirus.

The national conference, organized by the Canadian University Press, brought 360 attendees to the Harbour Towers hotel on Wednesday.

People started falling ill with the norovirus on Saturday during the awards gala.

“Right after the keynote (address) people started getting sick, including myself,” said Danielle Pope, a writer for Monday Magazine who also attended the conference. “I thought it was food poisonous at first,” she said.

As more people came down with symptoms, however, conference organizers realized it was something else.

“It was very sudden,” and Pope, who suffered blurry vision and numbness in her arms in addition to the standard symptoms, including severe vomiting and diarrhea.

In total, about 30 to 40 people got sick.

“The hotel was very co-operative,” said Shannon Marshall, spokesperson for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. “Our medical health protection officers were onsite Sunday, and really all we did was provide advice.”

Affected students were confined to their room. Many commiserated and stayed in touch through Twitter. Through tweets, Both West Jet and Air Canada were praised for waiving flight cancellation fees for those students who had to stay behind to recover.

Young, healthy adults will recover on their own in 24- to 48 hours, said Marshall.

norovirus. is highly contagious and spreads through the fecal-oral route. Outbreaks have occurred in cruise ships, schools and care facilities.

“People get infected after drinking water or eating food that’s contaminated with the feces or vomit from an infected person,” Marshall. There is no treatment, she said, adding hand washing is the best defence.

To date, the health authority has seen no spike in cases of norovirus among the general population.

 

 

Just Posted

Hey Amazon, the bid’s in the mail: Langford mayor

The City of Langford has officially submitted its bid to become the home of Amazon HQ2.

Art has become a lifestyle for local resident

Coast Collective’s latest exhibit celebrates all things late fall

Deadline looming for youth transitional housing

Province says funding for 10 units not available at this time

Greater Victoria Public Library announces new music streaming service

Victoria Conservatory of Music to perform at Langford Heritage Branch on Saturday

Rogue masseur arrested for sexual assault in Victoria

John Heintzelman, 65, is accused of assaulting a person at his former business, James Bay Massage

WATCH: Greater Victoria restaurant chain stepping up after employee struck by SUV

31-year-old Khushal Rana fighting for his life in Victoria hospital

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Weekend hit list: Things to see and do in Greater Victoria

The Victoria Fall Home Expo returns, Rebels host the Cullen Cup, a gallery tour and more

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

West Shore Baha’is come together to join in world-wide celebrations

200th commemoration of the birth of Baha’u’llah this weekend

JOCK TALK: Canada’s national cycling team is at Bear Mountain this weekend

Your weekly round up of all things sports on the West Shore

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Salmon have arrived in Saanich

Two weeks ago, Dorothy Chambers, lead steward with Colquitz River fish fence,… Continue reading

Most Read