A week before hundreds of cigar industry personnel descend on the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the hotel is experiencing a suspected outbreak of a severe version of the stomach flu.
The hotel’s coo, Mark Waltrip, confirmed to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that at least 15 employees and four guests have experienced symptoms. The newspaper says others have contacted the Review-Journal with similar issues, including those who used the facility last week.
The Westgate is one of the two designated official hotels used for the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, the cigar industry’s major annual trade show, which begins next Friday, July 13.
While the Westgate does not host the trade show, many of the other activities including the convention portion on Friday and the kick-off party and opening breakfast are hosted at the Westgate’s Paradise Event Center.
Norovirus is a serious version of the stomach flu that can be transmitted both by person-to-person contact, as well as via food or surfaces. The CDC describes the infection as “very contagious.” It’s generally known as a winter virus, though breakouts can happen in the summer.
Those infected can experience a variety of flu-like symptoms over the course of 24-72 hours.
— The Culinary Union (@Culinary226) July 4, 2018
In an unrelated incident, members of the local Culinary Workers Union Local 226—a 60,000-member union—have scheduled a protest at the Westgate for this Friday.