60 sick as norovirus hits student journalism conference

Posted on January 15, 2012 by

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by Doug Powell

In what is now being dubbed the “Great Puking Debacle of Nash 74,” student journalists from across the country who attended Canadian University Press’s 74th National Conference (or “NASH”) in Victoria, B.C. were hit with a plague-like puking epidemic Saturday evening at the conference’s gala.

That’s how The Varsity, a University of Toronto student paper, described events after rumors of the vomiting outbreak surfaced on Twitter late Saturday evening, when conference delegates began reporting symptoms and nausea and vomiting episodes after dinner at the Harbour Towers Hotel and Suites in downtown Victoria.

There are reports on Twitter that up to 60 students are ill and 11 have been hospitalized with what is believed to be norovirus.

On Twitter, conference delegates live-tweeted new cases of the infection. As one attendee tweeted, “I was just puked on and as a result puked myself. It’s awful.”

The outbreak is the most recent example of live-tweeted epidemics, a phenomenon studied by scientists last year in response to swine flu trends on Twitter. Evidence of the Nash 74 outbreak’s progression can be found on Twitter under #nash74

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