December 8, 2016

Illness Outbreak at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center

Officials from the Ingham County Health Department in Michigan are reporting that at least 120 people are sick after attending events at the Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center in mid February. The number of those confirmed sick will probably increase as more people report their illnesses.

Woman's Torso Food PoisoningThe outbreak was initially centered on an event that took place at that venus on February 18, 2016, but has expanded to include all events in the Kellogg Center between Tuesday, February 16, 2016 and Sunday, February 21, 2016. If you were at the Kellogg Center during that time frame, for whatever reason, whether or not you got sick, please take an online survey to help officials with their investigation. You can find the survey online, or leave a message at 517-887-4312.

Linda S. Vail, Ingham County Health Officer said in a statement, “thousands of people were at the Kellogg Center during the investigation period. We need both those who experienced no symptoms and those who were ill, most especially, to tell us about their recent visit. The most common symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. It’s unpleasant, but people have recovered quickly and without complications.”

The Center voluntarily suspended food service operations on February 22 and 23, 2016. The facility was cleaned at that time and reopened on February 24, 2016. No new illnesses outside the investigation period stated above have been reported.

Samples from those who have been sick have been sent to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for testing. We’ll tell you about those results when they come in.

Many gastrointestinal illnesses, especially those that spread throughout venues, could cause these symptoms. The outbreak could be caused by norovirus, a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea, or it could be food poisoning caused by anything from Salmonella to C. difficale. The fact that people have recovered quickly does point to norovirus.

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