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Viral infection outbreak at Seabeck conference center

An unknown viral infection is striking those who’ve recently visited the Seabeck Christian Conference Center.

According to the Kitsap County Health District, a cluster of people have become ill with vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms strike those who’ve attended events at the Christian Center after July 12, said Dr. Scott Lindquist of the district.

“Although no one was seriously ill, the spread of illness is significant enough to warrant a thorough cleaning of the conference center,” he said. “We are pleased with the cooperation from the staff at the conference center, and I am impressed with the work they have done to prepare for the next group of guests.”

About 40 percent of the employees and guests who visited the conference center (week of July 14-20) became ill. There were no hospitalizations. The center is a regional facility, so people affected are from a wide area including Kitsap County, other parts of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and British Columbia.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever and muscle aches. Symptoms usually last less than two days. The agent causing the disease has not been identified, but early indications are that it’s a viral process, said health officials.

Health district personnel are interviewing those who are ill, and lab results are pending.

Thorough hand washing is the best way to prevent illness, and environmental cleaning with a 10 percent bleach solution will limit further spread.

There does not appear to be a risk to the general public.

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