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1,200 security staffers have been sent home due to a norovirus outbreak just days before the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are scheduled to kick off.

41 guards suffered sudden diarrhea and vomiting due to the highly contagious disease, prompting the prophylactic evacuation of the security staffers. An outbreak of the virus rocked last year’s athletics world championships in London, sidelining at least 30 athletes and team members and leading to a controversial time trial for one athlete who was barred from competing in the qualifying rounds due to his being suspected of having the disease.


Norovirus is so contagious due to its ability to survive outside of a host for several days; both North and South Korea are also in the midst of a massive outbreak of bird and swine flus. More than 80,000 North Koreans have tested positive for swine flu while a million chickens and half a million eggs have been destroyed in South Korea due to the bird flu outbreak there.

Other than that, temperatures are expected to be the lowest ever recorded at an Olympic opening ceremony on Friday. Two years ago, the pool was sick. This year, all the athletes and spectators might be.



Timothy Burke is formerly Deadspin's Video Director.

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