A trampoline park in Washington state voluntarily closed for cleaning after a dozen children became ill with norovirus-like symptoms, and for at least some of the cases it was following a birthday party held there last Friday. In reading visitor comments on the establishment’s Facebook page, other groups may have been affected over the weekend as well.
The local health department enacted a call center for people to visited Altitude Trampoline Park on or after Friday, March 10th. Public health officials have been monitoring the situation to see if it could be part of a larger outbreak in the area. There appear to have been cases of norovirus at a local school that have led to cancelled classes.
The venue is cleaned daily with a bleach-based solution, but had an extra cleaning on the 14th before reopening the next day, and the staff received additional training on cleaning for events such as these.
This was the first time we have heard of a trampoline park being involved in a norovirus outbreak, but given that large numbers of people can be using the equipment in a day and there are common areas to grab onto, it is not all that surprising for a virus like norovirus to spread quickly once introduced.
The idea of bouncing around with an upset stomach is a bit frightening, to say the least. Though since perhaps as much as a third of norovirus infections are asymptomatic, there could have been a Typhoid Mary (or should we say Noro Ned/Nancy) who felt fine but was shedding the virus. A source of the illness has not been given, and we will update this story if more information comes available.