Korean officials on Wednesday confirmed additional cases of norovirus at the Pyeongchang Olympics, bringing the total of people infected to 86.
The Korean Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed an additional 54 cases after announcing 32 on Tuesday.
The disease is considered highly contagious and typically includes symptoms of diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting and nausea.
“The peak season for norovirus is January and February so unfortunately we’re in a bad time of year where outbreaks occur,” said Kim Hyunjun, director of the Korean CDC.
The center said the cases were concentrated at the Odaesan Youth Centre, where 58 cases were confirmed. Kim said no athletes have confirmed cases of the virus.
“That’s the most important thing here, that when the athletes come to Korea they demonstrate their performance after a few years of training,” Kim said.
A total of 12 police officers have contracted the virus, along with three food preparation staff working in the media village.
“Norovirus is a water-borne and food-borne disease and the outbreak is ongoing,” Kim said. “In order to stop the further outbreak of the virus we’re quarantining patients beginning from the diagnosis to the treatment. We’re going to minimize this outbreak.”
Kim said the center does not know the “geographical frequency” of the outbreak. Those who contract the disease will be quarantined while they are treated.
Kim said 1,200 have been quarantined “because they showed a symptom.”
The Pyeongchang organizing committee (POCOG) said Tuesday that the 1,200 affected workers in the security force were replaced with 900 military police.
“We hope to minimize the damages and the spread of the norovirus and we’re implementing all the measures that we can implement,” Kim said.
POCOG said it will be distributing information on the virus and prevention as well as providing additional hand sanitizer and disinfecting surfaces. The organizing committee also on Wednesday began supplying free bottles of water to media members at the Main Press Center and the media housing. A public water fountain in the Main Press Center was turned off.