Games athletes escape norovirus outbreak

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond during a press conference at St Andrews House in Edinburgh

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond during a press conference at St Andrews House in Edinburgh

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The source of the suspected norovirus outbreak which has hit the Athletes’ Village has been traced, Commonwealth Games organisers believe.

There have been 32 suspected cases of the sickness and diarrhoea bug among workers at the village in Glasgow’s east end, though no athletes or team officials have been affected.

Speaking after the final meeting of the Glasgow 2014 strategic group yesterday, First Minister Alex Salmond said they are confident the probable source of the outbreak has been identified.

It has been traced to a temporary facility that was in use during construction work in the security area.

Mr Salmond said: “We’re confident we’ve identified the cause of the outbreak, a temporary facility which was not as it should be.

“We’ve taken the measures necessary. We’ve got a terrific health service and they are on the job.

“We are confident that we’re getting to grips with the cause. We will see more cases but it will tail off over the next few days.”

Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting between 600,000 and one million people of all ages every year.

The Athletes’ Village is said to be “operating as normal” but infection control measures have been put in place and Health Protection Scotland is working with the health board and Games organisers to minimise risk.

The 700-house Dalmarnock facility was officially opened last Sunday and will host 4,500 competitors and another 2,300 support staff during the Games.

Mr Salmond said the Games will be within the budget of £576m, plus £90m for security.

He also announced a £3.5m investment from the special reserve fund to increase transport services.

The strategic group held their final meeting at the SSE Hydro, where final preparations are taking place ahead of the rhythmic gymnastics competition which starts next Thursday. Mr Salmond said: “I don’t think there has ever been a better facility built in the history of the Games as the Hydro.

“It’s going to be a warm, friendly Games that will portray Glasgow and Scotland to billions of people across the world in the best possible fashion.”

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