Annette Hacker, director,
Office: (515) 294-4777
July 8 Update: Initial samples indicate norovirus
The state public health laboratory confirms initial samples obtained in Ames from ill individuals have tested positive for norovirus. Norovirus is a common cause of viral gastroenteritis ("stomach flu"). (See Iowa Department of Public Health news release.)
July 7: Flu-like illness affecting Special Olympics National Games attendees
Andrew Zalasky, Mary Greeley Medical Center, (515) 290-1152
Mark North, Special Olympics National Games Organizing Committee chair, (515) 294-8809
AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University and organizers of the Special Olympics National Games are cooperating with state and local public health officials in regard to a flu-like illness that has affected some delegates and families.
Andrew Zalasky of Mary Greeley Medical Center said 40 patients have been treated for gastrointestinal symptoms this week. The majority of these patients have been served from field care centers staffed by the Special Olympics National Games medical team.
Symptoms of the illness include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains. Tests are being conducted to determine the nature of the illness.
The Lied Recreation Center on the east side of the Iowa State campus has been set up as an evaluation center for anyone exhibiting these symptoms. The Special Olympics National Games staff has been in close contact with members of all delegations. This center is prepared to evaluate patients and determine the appropriate level of care.
As of 9:00 p.m., 13 patients had been seen at the Lied center. The evaluation center will remain open until 1 a.m. July 8 (Saturday) or as activity warrants.
Special Olympics delegates, coaches and volunteers without symptoms should go about their normal activities and continue thorough handwashing and good hygiene practices, said Michael Miller, M.D., Medical Director of Emergency Medical Services at Mary Greeley Medical Center, and medical director of the Special Olympics National Games.
Special Olympics National Games closing ceremonies continued as planned tonight. Games organizers continue to maintain contact with the delegations.
Media inquiries are being directed to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
An incident command center has been established at Mary Greeley Medical Center.
Iowa State University and the Special Olympics National Games will provide updates as more information is available from the Iowa Department of Public Health.