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Suspected Norovirus Outbreak Strikes Notre Dame Sports Camp

Hemera/Thinkstock(NOTRE DAME, Ind.) -- Health investigators in Indiana are working to uncover the reasons behind an apparent outbreak that sickened 107 middle and high-schoolers attending sports camps at the University of Notre Dame on Wednesday.

Of the kids who fell ill with symptoms that included vomiting, nausea and diarrhea, 29 were sent to area hospitals, according to a report by ABC News affiliate ABC57.

"At about 2 a.m. yesterday morning...we had a number of camp participants waking up ill and contacting coaches in the residence halls," Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told ABC News Thursday. "Once it became clear that it was more than just a couple, we knew it was more than just an isolated incident or two."

Brown said that the summer camps are continuing to operate despite the outbreak, although some of the participants have been moved to other accommodations.

"We attended to the kids yesterday in terms of transportation to hospital and have taken the usual precautious, [including] cleaning residents rooms and common areas," he said.

"We've been making phone calls to all of the families of the participants who were sick both last night and today, touching base just to see how things are going making sure everything is OK."

Health investigators at the St. Joseph County Health Department are processing samples that would potentially reveal the true nature of the outbreak. Currently, the chief suspect is the highly contagious norovirus infection, which affects the stomach and intestines and leads to a condition known as gastroenteritis.

"This is the same virus that hits cruise ships," Dr. Thomas Felger of the St. Joseph County Health Department told ABC57's Emily Pritchard on Wednesday afternoon.

Nick Molchan, St. Joseph County Health Department administrator, told ABC News Thursday afternoon that the preliminary results from testing will only be available on Friday at the earliest. While norovirus is the suspected cause, Molchan said that the department is also examining samples from meals consumed by the sports camp participants to see if some other food-borne pathogen may have been to blame.

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