Ireland team change London hotel after norovirus outbreak


Health officials with Public Health England (PHE) reported a norovirus outbreak linked to the World Athletics Championships in London Tuesday.

Public Health England confirmed that the athletes have norovirus, which can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, malaise and muscle pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.

London 2017, the championship organisers, announced on Monday several competitors - staying at the same official team hotel - had suffered gastroenteritis.

Isaac Makwala, from Botswana, a favourite for the men's 200 metres, withdrew from the heats on Monday.

Athletes with symptoms including diarrheoa and vomiting began presenting last week with the illness apparently centred around one of the official hotels.

Tower Hotel, used annually as the base for the London Marathon, said in a statement: "We have worked collaboratively with the [environmental health officer] and the IAAF to investigate the origins of the illness and can confirm that the hotel was not the source".

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A hotel spokesman added: "We have followed strict hygiene protocol".

German triple jumper Neele Eckhardt was among the first to show signs of illness, collapsing last week but recovering in time to compete in her event, reaching the final but finishing last.

Ireland's 400m hurdler Thomas Barr, who is among the victims, said: "I'm gutted to have to withdraw from the semi-final".

It led the team to re-distribute 30 more athletes who arrived in London this week to avoid the hotel where the outbreak started. As he missed the heats on medical advice, however, he would be able to run, if fit.

"We continue to liaise with the medical authorities and the IAAF to ensure the comfort of those guests affected and the health and well-being of all our guests remains a priority".

"My whole year has been focused on the world championships".