At least 100 people ill after convention in GR

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — At least 100 of people have fallen ill after a convention held at the DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.

The National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association held its annual convention from Aug. 14-17, and several people complained of flu-like symptoms during the convention. 

Thousands of people attended the conference, but at this point, roughly 100 people have contacted the Kent County Health Department to complain of symptoms similar to influenza A.

“We’ve been fielding many phone calls over the past couple of days from all over the country,” said Brian Hartl, a health department epidemiologist.

Reports began coming into the health department over the weekend. Health officials say those sickened come from 25 states.

Although this year’s flu vaccine is already being produced, the county health department is trying to determine what type of influenza may be responsible.

“If we know that other strains are circulating that could tell us what type of flu season we are going to have, if we see something different that’s not in the vaccine,” explained Hartl.

Hartl says this incident is a good reminder that people should stay home when they feel sick to prevent spreading the illness.

***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated the convention ran from Aug. 7-18. We regret this error, which has since been fixed.***

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