About 100 Sickened At Naval Academy Swim Meet

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.

  • Doug

    Don’t pee in my pool
    I won’t swim in your toilet

    • SMH

      Welcome to my OOL…..notice the P is missing? Please keep it that way!

      • lotsoflaughs

        If you haven’t checked out this blog yet you should. It’s got a bunch of really funny stories that are all super clean. I’m trying to get more readers to my blog in hopes of being able to publish someday. So if you check it out and like it please tell family and friends about it. http://www.jaredslighterside.blogspot.com

  • john russell

    probably some Germ warfare this demonic Govt did dumped into that pool..wouldn’t surprise me anything that hits you that fast is human designed meaning BIO LAB CREATED…I would stay away from anything ever public or run by MILITARY or US GOVT….DEMONIC murderers!

    • IDk

      rohn russell, you are a flippin idiot. Learn something about the norovirus before you spew your diarrhea of the mouth (and expose your complete ignorance). This is EXACTLY how this virus responds to a room full of close quartered hosts.

      But I agree with one part of your rant. YOU should stay away from the public. Perhaps a padded cell in sunny farms mental hospital would fit you nicely as you are clearly a paranoid schizoid (possibly demonic possessed) nut job.

  • Herman Glimsher


  • adam ritter

    I need more details on this. Why did not they cancel the meet with 100 people getting sick? This sounds like taking a big chance just for a swim meet.

  • Phyllis Stachorowski Sipes

    I hate the stomach virus – don’t come near me if you have it. Don’t like to throw up either. Keep the germ in Annapolis.

  • Megan

    Sounds like an outbreak of the Norovirus to me. My husband got it when he went to a convention in Las Vegas 6 years ago. Hundreds of people got it and he actually got $800 from Caesar’s because they knew about the virus and did not notify their incoming guests. There was a class action law suit filed by his industry and all he had to do was fill out a form to say where he stayed and on which days and next thing he knew a check was sent to him. It it is self limiting virus however it is very unpleasant and VERY contagious.

  • Dana

    Yeah, they should have shut down. All it takes is one person with a weakened immune system to die from something like this.

  • Heartwings

    I agree, as someone w/ a compromised immune system due to my RA treatment, this could have killed me had I been there with my kids. It should have been canceled; the decision to continue was not in the best interest of the kids or public health.

  • petfriend

    Hopefully anyone who has a seriously compromised immune system would have the sense to stay away from an event where hundreds of kids and their hundreds of parents are in close quarters. That is germ heaven at any time. While on chemo I always avoided group events such as this. Doctors and nurses always advise the immuno compromised to do so. Kids get sick and pass stuff to each other all the time and a stomach bug can move like wildfire in any school, daycare etc. Plus when one kid throws up, it triggers others to do so just by gag reflexes, even if they are not really “sick”. They acted appropriately and disinfected etc when it happened… no need to cancel next day’s events. This would not have even been news if it was not at the Naval Academy. Last week I heard about one classroom that had 16 kids out on the same day with a stomach thing. Happens all the time.

    • Heartwings

      I had kids before I was diagnosed with RA & other problems. I am not about to let a disease deny me from raising my kids to the best of my physical ability and letting them do all the activites other kids do. I have RA, my kids don’t & I’ll be darned if I let the disease ruin THEIR lives. Yes, this is a risk to me due to my compromised immune system, but my kids are more important than the risk. The fact that they knew there was an increased risk to everyone & did nothing was horrendously irresponsible! Forget me, what about all those kids?

      • petfriend

        It would seem that your comment that they “did nothing” implies you did not read this whole article or the others on various other news sites which state that they closed the pool, tested the water, cleaned and disinfected the area etc etc and then later reopened. They did act responsibly. I applaud your choice to run the risk of exposure to disease in order to be part of your kids lives. I resumed working at a very high risk place before my chemo was done as well…however we did this knowing we placed ourselves at risk…therefore it is not others responsibility to ensure there are no germs, but our choice to enter into the event. It is a given that any time you go somewhere with hundreds of people present in a confined area, there are billions of germs everywhere.

  • ABC

    The reason it wasn’t canceled is because of…wait for it…money. Big surprise there. These civilian kids pay a healthy fee to participate in these civilian swim clubs (who’s organizers/coaches pocket a healthy cut of the proceeds) and the organizers/coaches are not about to get themselves into a situation where they have to refund money.

    Worst part is, these teams were there on the good graces of the Naval Academy. It was not ‘organized’ (as the article implies) by the NA but by the clubs. The Academy is just the nicest facility around and allow it to be hosted there on the condition that it doesnt interfere with the primary objective of the Academy.

    Thank goodness no Midshipmen got it and spread it to the rest of the Brigade.

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