Stomach bug outbreak follows youth basketball tournament

By: Gabriel Roxas Email
By: Gabriel Roxas Email

They came from across the state for a youth basketball tournament, but many fans, players, and family members went home sick.

More than 50 teams took part in the tournament last weekend at the Kentucky Basketball Academy in Lexington. Since then, health officials in Lexington have responded to dozens of cases of a stomach bug found in young basketball players with one thing in common. "A lot of them did attend the event at KBA over the weekend," Fayette County Health Department's Jessica Noto said, "However, at this point we have conducted a pretty thorough investigation at KBA, and we don't have any reason to believe that there is any source or that anything was a result of food service or anything at KBA."

Noto is the Communicable Disease Team Leader at the Health Department. She says the symptoms they're seeing, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, are relatively mild, usually pass within 24 to 48 hours, and are similar to stomach bugs they've been seeing in school systems throughout the state. Her best guess is that one or more of the young players already had the bug and came to the tournament with it. "At this point we think that an event like at KBA where there's basketball games going on, there was probably several hundred people in the gym throughout the day if not more that it's just a really good way to spread an illness," Noto said.

In a post on their Facebook page, KBA officials expressed regret over the illnesses but assured participants that their facility is cleaned and sanitized every night. Noto says investigators have contacted teams throughout the state that competed in the tournament and urged them to report cases to them. "Certainly people have heard about it, and we've had a lot of calls, and they've made contact with asking... everyone thinks that maybe it's something that they need to worry about, but at this point, we have no reason to think that it's anything more serious than what we typically see throughout the year with different illnesses," Noto said.

For anyone showing signs of the stomach bug, health officials urge you to wash your hands thoroughly, disinfect your home, and stay away from others until you have been free of symptoms for at least 24 hours.

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