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About 100 Sickened At Naval Academy Swim Meet

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CBS Baltimore (con't)

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Nearly 100 people fell ill after attending a state swimming championship.  Now we know more about what caused it all.

Weijia Jiang spoke with a swimmer who got sick.

Over the weekend, Catherine Frediani was set to compete in six races at the Maryland state swimming championships.  She was most excited for the last two.

“I woke up on Sunday, I didn’t feel good.  I tried to go to the pool and I threw up,” Frediani said.

The Howard High junior is one of at least 90 people who caught a nasty stomach bug during the event, held at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, with more than 800 participants, ages nine to 18.  Several vomited on the pool deck; one even threw up in the water.

“They had to shut the locker room, we had to evacuate the pool.  In trash cans, on the deck, walking to your car, there’s throw up.  It was everywhere,” Frediani said.

Even though so many swimmers got sick on Saturday, organizers decided not to cancel the meet, which ended Sunday night.  They worked with the Naval Academy to make sure the area was safe for competitors.

“We immediately closed the pool, followed all state protocol in terms of cleaning, checked water levels to make sure they were appropriate,” said Raymond Brown, Maryland Swimming, Inc.

The state health department is checking stool samples and conducting surveys from the patients to determine what caused the outbreak.

Dr. Lucy Wilson says symptoms point to viral gastroenteritis.

“We think, in a closed space like this, a lot of kids, a lot of human-to-human contact, it was a great environment to pass a virus,” Wilson said.

The virus typically passes within 24 to 48 hours.  In fact, Frediani has recovered and is looking forward to next year.

Doctors say the source was probably one or two swimmers who had the illness, but it spread quickly.

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