Gary T. Kubota, reporter at the Star Adveritser, reported that about 100 guests and workers at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel fell sick from an infectious virus — called norovirus — about two weeks ago.

I stayed there a few years ago with my daughters.  While I gave a speech at a food safety conference, my girls got surfing lessons.

According to Kubota, two new reports of similar symptoms around the middle of last week prompted state health officials to personally supervise disinfection measures at the hotel.  According to health officials, the illness probably started the week before last and that Royal Hawaiian managers called early on the weekend of May 16 to report the outbreak.

The kitchen was shut down voluntarily by the hotel until Wednesday because it was a possible point of infection. The new cases have not been confirmed as resulting from norovirus.  The kitchen was closed as a precautionary measure to halt any potential spread of the virus through the food service itself.

Norovirus, able to be transmitted by an infected person, contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces, is “very hardy” in the environment and doesn’t take a lot to spread.

The virus causes the stomach, intestines or both to get inflamed, leading to stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The CDC said the noro­virus causes 19 million to 21 million illnesses annually and contributes to 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations.  Those most affected by the virus are infants and young children who suffer dehydration during the illness, and older adults with underlying medical conditions.