Breaking News Bar
updated: 3/26/2013 7:38 PM

Norovirus suspected after travelers at O'Hare fall ill

Success - Article sent! close
  • Daily Herald File PhotoNine tourists from Scandinavia suffered from a stomach ailment Monday night at O'Hare International Airport.

      Daily Herald File PhotoNine tourists from Scandinavia suffered from a stomach ailment Monday night at O'Hare International Airport.


The stomach ailment that grounded a group of Scandinavian tourists likely was not a Chicago souvenir, officials said Tuesday.

Seven members of a tour group fell ill Monday night before boarding a Scandinavian Airlines aircraft at O'Hare International Airport and were taken to nearby hospitals around 11 p.m.

Order Reprint Print Article
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Later, two other travelers took sick after boarding Flight 944, which led the pilot to require all members of the group to leave the airplane before it departed for Copenhagen, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.

"The pilot made the decision not to have anyone on the tour on his aircraft as he didn't want anyone becoming violently ill over the ocean," Langford said.

The Norwegian tourists numbered about 52 people, authorities said, and were on a bus trip from Memphis. Tenn., to Chicago.

Chicago Department of Public Health investigators are checking with food vendors and others with whom the group came into contact. It's thought the bug was contracted outside of Chicago, spokesman Brian Richardson said.

The preliminary diagnosis is the norovirus, a contagious virus that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It's spread through contaminated food or from contact with infected people and surfaces.

The rapid succumbing of the tourists would fit the profile of norovirus, but the department cannot confirm that diagnosis, Richardson noted.

"With norovirus, there's a quick turnaround time," he said. "We recommend that anyone who's traveling, remember to wash your hands to help prevent the spread of viruses."

Chicago Fire Department sent multiple ambulances to the International Terminal and patients were taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge and Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.