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200 people sickened with norovirus linked to Louisiana casino

By | Rachel Brooks

Contributor | Telegraph Local 

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Pictured above, a cartoon depiction of norovirus posted by the CDC in 2015.

A norovirus outbreak tears into Louisiana with at least 200 people sick. Fox News reports that the sickness is linked to the L’Auberge Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This was confirmed by the Louisiana Department of Health. As of the last 24 hours, an investigation into the incident has been reported. 


Norovirus is a gastrointestinal disease. It causes vomiting, diarrhea, and severe stomach pain. If you have visited or eaten at the L’Auberge Casino within the past 33 hours, you should see a physician.  

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention gives the norovirus a 12-33 hour window of incubation. The illness is characterized by “acute on-set vomiting” and severe, but non-bloody diarrhea. In addition, one may also experience myalgia or pain in the muscles. A person with norovirus will experience a low-grade fever. Those who exhibit symptoms will usually experience them for 24-60 hours. You may also experience malaise, which is general discomfort and uneasiness, headaches and stomach cramps. 

USA Today reports that Dr. Cavanaugh made this comment,

“How it started at this point doesn’t really matter anymore, because now we are getting transmission within the community. So, however people picked it up in that setting they are now taking it home and spreading it from one family member to another family member to another family member, so that is the real message that we need to get out today.”

Norovirus is a stable virus that can thrive in extreme temperatures, citing the CDC literature. If you have food or drink that has been exposed to norovirus, it may be advisable to discard it. Noroviruses are transmitted primarily through the “fecal-oral route” meaning that one contracts norovirus when they ingest a substance that has been cross-contaminated by fecal matter. Norovirus can also spread by droplets or exposure to the vomit of the infected person. 


Severe outcomes of norovirus are only likely in the elderly. It is also recommended to monitor young children closely for potential symptoms. 

The agency-regional medical director, Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh, has said that several hundred people were in attendance at recent casino events. The agency has received approximately 200 surveys from people who have self-reported symptoms of norovirus. 

Public officials state that the spread can be contained if people with the virus stay home in quarantine. Hands should be washed thoroughly in warm, soapy water. Surface areas within the home should be disinfected thoroughly with bleach, Lysol, drug-store grade hydrogen peroxide or other household cleaners.

Fox News states that the casino has declined to comment on the outbreak.  

It is possible that the casino outbreak can spread to Texas. Citing Click 2 Houston, this casino location is a popular retreat for citizens of Texas. If you are a Texan who has visited the L’Auberge Casino within the past 33 hours, it is advisable that you see a physician. Exercise the hygiene principles given by the CDC to avoid issuing a spread. 


The Louisiana Department of Health requests that those who experience norovirus-like symptoms complete this Illness Survey. This survey will help the Department of Health to track and control the spread. While the CDC does not include bloody stools as a regular symptom of norovirus, the Louisiana Department of Health has included the question on its survey. 

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