Dozens fall ill at medical meeting in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon epidemiologist says about 90 of the 220 medical professionals who attended a private meeting at the Oregon Zoo became ill.

Oregon Public Health's Dr. Katrina Hedberg says no one was hospitalized but those who developed gastro-intestinal symptoms were very ill.

She tells The Oregonian ( ) that the highly contagious norovirus is "the most likely culprit."

Oregon Public Health scientists are trying to determine the source of the contamination at the Dec. 5 meeting of Women's Healthcare Associates. Hedberg says it's most likely that an infected food handler contaminated the food. Zoo staff catered the event, which was held in a space that the zoo rents out to private parties.

Women's Healthcare Associates is a group of physicians, midwives and nurse practitioners serving the Portland area and Newberg. CEO Brian Kelly says the group is working with officials to determine the cause of the illness.


Information from: The Oregonian,

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