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Norovirus outbreak found at Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships

No Northwestern athlete has been reported sick.

@NUSwimDive on Twitter

So far, no Northwestern athletes have been reported to have fallen ill after a norovirus outbreak was reported at the Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at Michigan's Canham Natatorium.

Three Michigan swimmers and one Indiana diver have been isolated from contact so far, according to a report from Swimming World earlier Wednesday. Also, the events will start as scheduled Wednesday night.

The norovirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up."

Michigan's athletic department issued the following statement regarding the outbreak:

The University of Michigan and Big Ten Conference were notified of an illness among students on central campus, including members of the Michigan women's swimming & diving program. The Big Ten Conference, University of Michigan athletic department and the University of Michigan Health System collaboratively assessed the situation and determined that Canham Natatorium was a safe environment for competitors and spectators.

Wednesday morning's warmups were cancelled as Michigan Athletics worked with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to test water samples and chlorine levels, sanitize the pool and perform an additional deep clean of the facility as a precautionary measure.

With the approval from OSHA and medical personnel, the decision was made to begin the championships as scheduled. The Big Ten Conference and Michigan Athletics will continue to take all the necessary precautions to minimize the risk for competitors and spectators.

UPDATE: Inside NU was informed Thursday that it was actually the University of Michigan's Occupational Safety and Environmental Health department that tested the water samples, not the OSHA as Michigan's press release stated.

The last time a norovirus outbreak was discovered at a major collegiate swimming meet was at the 2010 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Columbus, Ohio, Swimming World reported.

While each team found another location to practice following an emergency coaches meeting Wednesday morning, Northwestern's women's swimming and diving squad tweeted out this picture of the team in Michigan's pool Tuesday:

The Wildcats, according to a source, practiced in their hotel pool Wednesday.

More information on Northwestern's outlook at the Big Ten Championships can be found here.