Norovirus cause of outbreak at Eagle Island, beach to stay closed

EAGLE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Officials at Eagle Island State Park say norovirus likely caused dozens of people to become ill after swimming at its popular beach.

The park received about 100 reports of people getting sick. The beach will remain closed for about two weeks while the water is drained and the area cleaned.

"The virus can spread from person-to-person through recreational water, food and direct contact with ill people," said Kimberly Link, program manager at CDHD.

"Since human stool and vomit are the main sources of norovirus, the likely source was a sick person or party that swam in the water or became ill at the park."

Symptoms of norovirus usually begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure.

The most frequent symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea, but stomach cramps and low-grade fever can also arise. Most symptoms resolve after one or two days.

"We know the hot weather is driving people to seek relief in area pools, lakes and rivers," said Link. "However, we all have a responsibility to prevent illness in ourselves and keep our waters clean. Avoid swallowing water or getting water in your mouth and never swim when you are ill. This will help keep your family healthy and prevent the spread of disease to others."