Wilshire Hotel became ill after a pre-Oscar party in
2002. The hotel spokesperson said that there
is no indication that any safety precautions were
overlooked, and surmised that the outbreak was
probably caused by the food distributors and not
his own staff. It is common for Norwalk virus to
be spread through contaminated shellfish that is
shipped to restaurants and hotels.
In 2002, there were 35 outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis that stemmed from an infection with norovirus (Norwalk). These outbreaks occurred predominantly in assisted-living facilities, although a few occurred in restaurants, schools and summer camps. The majority happened during the winter (29/35 occurred between November and December). The majority of the outbreaks occurred via foodborne and waterborne transmission. Most cases resolved after 48 hours.
In a little over a year, there were 66 outbreaks of norovirus infection investigated by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The location of the outbreaks were consistent with the epidemiology of previous outbreaks. The outbreaks occurred mostly in nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities, with a few occurring in hospitals and restaurants. Like previous incidents, all major symptoms resolved within 48 hours.