A mysterious illness swept through a Las Vegas youth football tournament earlier this week, leaving dozens of players and parents ill.
Local news agencies estimated anywhere between 40 and 80 people became sick with the unknown bug earlier this week while in town for the National Youth Football Championships. Those afflicted all reported flu-like symptoms, according to NBC affiliate KSNV.
"As of now there are nine teams reporting illness and three of those teams are from Las Vegas," Justin Gates, an officials with the organization that's running the tournament, told KSNV in a phone call. "We first thought it was an illness spread at the team weign-in on Wednesday, but the three Las Vegas teams weighed in on Tuesday. We now think it might just be a flu-like illness spreading in Western states. It's hard to tell because many of the teams traveled up to 48 hours on a bus to get to Las Vegas and that could have made it easy to spread the bug."
The illness first came to the attention of authorities Friday morning, when the Clark County Fire Department responded to distress calls at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, per KSNV.
"We have 18 people, five adults and the rest children between 7 and 9 years of age, who were transported by Rio shuttles to two area hospitals" CCFD Deputy Chief Fernandez Leary told the station. "The symptoms are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea."
Parents and coaches of the affected players said they just wanted to understand what was causing the illness, reports local ABC affiliate KTNV.
"I was very scared because I really didn't know what was going on," Alastair Jones, coach of the Santa Monica Vikings Tiny Mites and parent of a 7-year-old son who was sick, told KTNV.
"We just want to figure out what it is," parent of another sick child Annalisa Johnson said, per KTNV. "We're just scared because we don't know what it is."
Fox affiliate Fox5 also spoke with Johnson, who told them around 40 people from her league were sick, and an additional 40 others from different leagues had become ill as well.
Meanwhile, the Jorge Viote, Public Information Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District, assured Fox that his team would be conducting an investigation.