Illness strikes Michigan Tough Mudder participants

Stomach bug hits people who took part in competition

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

DETROIT - The Tough Mudder competition is tough enough, but for many people who took part in the messy endurance competition last weekend at the Michigan International Speedway, the stomach illness they have suffered in the aftermath is just as challenging.

Robert Scarcella Jr. of Mio, Michigan, was one of the 20,000 participants who ran the obstacle course over walls, through fire and puddles of mud.  He said symptoms starting hitting him the day after the competition.

"I went out to local pizza shop here, and something just didn't taste right and Monday and Tuesday I slept all day, I was dizzy and spent most of the time in and out of the bathroom," Scarcella said.

He added that he was not the only one having those health problems.

"I had a buddy that doing it and he asked did I get sick at all and I said it's funny you should say that," Scarcella said.

The Lenawee County Health Department received reports of several participants in the Tough Mudder event with gastrointestinal illnesses.

Local 4's Dr. Frank McGeorge said the symptoms of abdominal cramping, fever, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting could be the result of a Norovirus, a parasite or a bacterial infection.

The medical detective work must now begin to conduct tests and track down the source.

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