Visitors fall ill amid Las Vegas outbreak
A family that stayed at the California Hotel has shown signs of gastroenteritis
Islanders who recently became ill at the California Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas have shown signs of gastroenteritis amid an outbreak of the illness in the city.
The Southern Nevada Health District issued a news release earlier this month about increased reports in the community of the illness, which involves inflammation of the stomach and intestines, said Jennifer Sizemore, public information officer.
VOMITING IS A SYMPTOM
Gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the stomach and intestines
Symptoms: Vomiting and diarrhea
Source: Southern Nevada Health District
Brian Labus, the district's senior epidemiologist, said, "We've been seeing an increase in gastroenteritis throughout the community the last several weeks. It has been affecting the entire country."
He noted that there have been outbreaks in schools and nursing homes.
In Las Vegas, he said, "We haven't identified any one place with more gastroenteritis than any other."
A Hawaii resident who asked not to be identified said her mother stayed at the California Hotel last week and became sick with vomiting and diarrhea, which are symptoms of gastroenteritis.
Her mother was sent to the emergency room and checked into a hospital for a week, the woman wrote in an e-mail.
She said her cousin and husband also got sick at the hotel with similar symptoms.
Labus, the Nevada health official, said, "We aren't seeing reports related to any one establishment. It's hard to pinpoint if people brought it with them or where they got it from."
He questioned whether visitors could be taking the illness from Hawaii to the California Hotel, which is popular with islanders.
The islands have had no increases in gastrointestinal activity, a Hawaii Health Department spokesman said.
California Hotel officials were not available for comment last night.
In April 2004, Las Vegas visitors were sickened by a stomach flu-like illness caused by the Norwalk virus. Many of those reporting the illness stayed at or visited the California Hotel.