High school students were in town for a Congressional Gold Medal Awards Foundation summer camp at George Mason University. Then on an outing to a Washington Nationals baseball game, they started getting sick.
40 of the 85 students were hit with the mysterious ailment. They were vomiting and had diarrhea. 15 of them were sent to the hospital.
The Fairfax County Public Health Department was called in to investigate. The prognosis: viral gastroenteritis.
Dr. Peter Troell, a health department epidemiologist, says it is a highly contagious disease. He also says norovirus, the illness you often hear about on cruise ships, is a type of gastroenteritis.
He says the students have been instructed to stay away from others while they recover over the next day or so to help prevent the spread of the disease.
GMU officials are cleaning surfaces in the dorm where the students were staying.
Samples have been sent to a state lab to see if the students were in fact stricken with norovirus.