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Norovirus at RNC: Jokes Not Funny to California Delegates

California delegation staff attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH have been struck by an outbreak of norovirus. The jokes were inevitable.

Just minutes after the news that staff accompanying the California delegation to the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland, OH had been hit by norovirus, Twitter lit up with the news--and plenty of bad jokes.

One tweet noted the RNC has a very unwelcome visitor, "And we're not talking Hillary Clinton."

Another joked that given the Donald Trump nomination, the outbreak was punishment from a vengeful God. Other tweets were scatological.

Norovirus is not funny to those who have it, a briefly extremely debilitating gastrointestinal ailment that tends to strike nursing homes and cruise ships and spreads by oral-fecal contamination.

The Erie County Health Department has been testing fecal samples from the Californians, and as of yesterday 11 cases among 36 who were ill had been confirmed as norovirus.

Delegates themselves have not been reported ill, but were taking precautions, such as not shaking hands with others, washing their hands frequently, and using hand sanitizers.

According to the Washington Post, the California delegates--seated next to delegates from Maryland--have been told to stay off delegation buses to the convention site if they show symptoms (diarrhea and vomiting). So far investigators believe the group brought the virus with them from California.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the California delegation staffers first reported illness on Thursday.

"They've done everything we've asked them to do" to avoid contact with others," Erie County Health Commissioner Pete Schade told the newspaper. .

The stricken visitors are among 550 people staying at a Sandusky, OH water park hotel, the Kalahari, located about 60 miles from Cleveland.

There was no information on whether the staffers had visited that park, said to be the largest in the US, or had been to other local attractions, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Norovirus can spread quickly in such venues.