UPDATE 2 July at 13:25pm: We’ve talked further with Multnomah County Heath department. They are developing a questionnaire that will help us identify possible sources of illness. We’ll send this questionnaire out to attendees and post information about it here next week. You are still welcome to call the health department and make a report, but you can also wait and complete this survey. In the meantime, if your symptoms are severe, please seek medical care. If you do, we suggest you ask for a stool sample analysis as that is the only way to determine what made you sick.
We’re hearing that a number of participants are having symptoms of gastroenteritis starting just after this year’s conference. If that includes you, we’re so sorry you’re not feeling well!
The cause of gastroenteritis can be bacterial (e.g. from eating contaminated food) or viral (e.g. from being in close proximity to someone with norovirus). We don’t know which was the cause in the case of Open Source Bridge. If you are sick, please report your symptoms to the Multnomah County Health Department by calling 503-988-3400. (More info about reporting here.) We’re working directly with the health department to try to determine the cause of the illness so we can support those who are sick and also prevent this from happening again in the future. The more information they have the better.
We probably will not be able to determine the cause of this particularly bad round of “conference crud,” but that doesn’t mean that we won’t take steps to prevent it from happening again. Next year we’ll increase training for all volunteers handling food and will increase awareness and access to hand washing and sanitizing for all participants.