FEB 2015

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 5 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m In light of the January 2015Norovirus out- break at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, hotel offi- cials are diligently working to protect guests from further illness. Gaylord officials released the following statement regarding the reported illnesses: "Local health officials are reporting that Norovirus is common this time of year, and the hotel has recently seen an increase in the number of guests reporting they are unwell. "On January 26, the Metro Nashville Health Department reported there was not a continuing threat of illness at the hotel and in- dicated some episodes of illness were related to exposures guests may have had from out- side the hotel or before arriving at the hotel. The hotel continues to undertake extensive efforts beyond public health department rec- ommendations." According to the Centers for Disease Con- trol (CDC), the Norovirus is a "very conta- gious virus" that can be transmitted via an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to become inflamed, leading to stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea. Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States, the CDC reports. Each year, it causes 19-21 mil- lion illnesses and contributes to 56,000- 71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths. The best way to help prevent norovirus is to practice proper hand washing and general cleanliness. Under the CDC's recommenda- tions, here are some suggestions to help protect attendees from this and similar contagious illnesses: n Review the meeting venue's health inspections to insure that workers are practicing proper hand hygiene, etc. n Review the venue's cleaning policy and schedules and encourage attendees to participate in daily linen washings. n Avoid serving raw foods such as fruits, vegetables and seafood. n Offer alcohol-based hand sanitizers. n N E W S I D E A S Norovirus 101: Protecting Attendees From Illness

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