A norovirus outbreak at a Louisiana casino caused at least 200 people to get sick, health officials say.
The state health department said it is investigating an outbreak in the Lake Charles area.
Norovirus is a highly contagious stomach flu that is easily spread, Louisiana health officials said. It is not related to influenza.
“People with norovirus can easily spread the illness from the moment they begin experiencing symptoms to several days after they recover,” Frank Welch, immunization director for the Louisiana Department of Health, said in a news release.
The outbreak happened at L’Auberge Casino last weekend, WVUE reported. People were there for a Mardi Gras ball, according to The Advocate.
“How it started at this point doesn’t really matter anymore, because now we are getting transmission within the community,” Lacey Cavanaugh, medical director for the State Health Office in Lake Charles, told WVUE. “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.”
Symptoms can start within 24 hours of being exposed and usually last a day or two, the health department said.