So, who likes tacos?

I’m suprised I haven’t seen a thread about this (did several searches). But, I’m just waking up after leaving VCU early, due to food poisioning. I know I saw a lot of people getting sick after eating the tacos at the Science Museum, and 5 or so people on our team were up all night in the bathrooms (severe vomiting, etc.) – two of which (me included) had to go to the hospital sometime around 1 am. We lost most of our operating team and even some backups! And I obviously couldn’t do some critical programming in my condition. It was a very unfortunate situation, that at least hurt my team …

So, how many of you have horror stories similar to this? Believe me, food poisioning is not a pretty thing … and three people in 1 room with food poisioning … well, you get the idea :o

I guess it’s assumed everyone knows about it…

I don’t think it was food poisoning, it’s something called the Nova Virus, it was on the news (us getting infected and all).

I think the majority of people who got sick were those who went to the school of engineering. I base this on the fact that one of our drivers went (the only one on the team who went) and he’s the only one who got sick. It might’ve been the sandwiches they were giving out there. All I have to say is I am VERY glad I did not get it. He was hardcore about it too, he continued with us throughout the day, I think he threw up 8 times in total, it got to the point where he just laughed about it. We even brought a bag with us to the drivers station and I was drilled on how to operate the secondary controls in case I had to take control.

Everyone on my team ate the tacos and no one got sick, but none of us went to the school of engineering social, so maybe munkaboo is right.

But just to be safe, I won’t go to Taco Bell for a few days until they find the true source

Hell, I’m sick with the flu-like symptoms, and I didn’t go to the Engineering thing. I think FIRST is going to have some bad problems with this.

Needless to say, I’m not a huge fan of the Baja Bean Company anymore.

The verdict right now is that is a virus, not food poisoning. One of our parents got sick and Wetzel is sick, according to his brother, they are keeping him in the hospital overnight. To my knowledge, Wetzel did not attend the team social or the dinner at the engineering school. I suspect more people may get sick over the next couple of days, I know we saw a worker cleaning up a big mess as we left the competition to come home today…


I remember when I lived in Vegas I heard a story on the news where a lady ate a breakfast burrito at Taco Bell and there were cockroach eggs in it, (DOnt ask me how, i dunno, jus passin on info) One day her cheek started to swell, and get infected. Turns out, the eggs were maturing in her cheek. This lady was either a full out liar, or needs to learn how to figure out whether or not her food is actually food…i think most of us would be able to tell whether or not we are munchin on cockroach eggs. YUCK!!!

That’s an urban legend.

Please send Jeff my wishes for a speedy recovery.

In fact, I hope everyone is feeling better soon! Random illness, especially when you’re away from home, is the worst.

I think it could be bioterrriorism with Alqeada trying to destroy AMERICA’s FURTURE ENGINEERS!!! :ahh:

But, seriously I am sorry to hear about this happening to y’all. I know what a pain it is to have food poisoning ( or whatever it is) but that is just one person it gets absolutly nasty when a whole group gets it (but you all know that now…)

Could somebody put up a link of the news article I would like to find out more about what happened.

I wish you all a speedy recovery and hope you enjoyed VCU of what you could.

A lady gathered info about the sick & distributed info about the hearty gastro-somthing virus that they suspect is causing the problem. It is fast spreading & she reccomended using the waterless hand sanitizer…I ran across the street to the store as the Canadian team got the last bottle. lol

About a third of our team threw-up in the last 15 hours…fun trip home on the bus!

Otherwise the Regional was great!! Eliminations were exciting. Robodogs(435) got the well-deserved Chairman’s Award & their advisor Debbie Kellogg got the Volunteer Award. The Killer Bee’s (33) ball sucker & human player were not to be believed!

We didn’t do as well as we’d hoped…but we’ll get 'em at Chesapeake :smiley:

Lisa T
I heard taco…

But seriously though, that is pretty bad. Especially in the middle of a regional, that must have hurt a bunch of teams who ate the bad bunch of tacos. I would expect a n-gage to get people sick, but at a science museum, who would suspect a bunch of bad meat. Sounds like a fairly large portion of FIRST participants suffered some rather nasty stomach torture. That really sucks :frowning:

10 of our 26 members got sick Friday night. We all went to the School of Engineering and to the Science Museum but not everyone got sick. We don’t think it was the food anymore (sandwiches or tacos) because almost all of our team ate and everyone didn’t get sick. And Sparky said that they had some people sick before we went to the museum. I think everyone being in the museum together helped spread it around. I never got sick but our shooter did. We kept moving our driver to different rooms to keep him from getting it and he never did.

Other than that, VCU was prety fun, except for the high-priced food…

I remember last year when the SARS outbreak was making the news and I was wondering if it would effect the competition if it spread worldwide (thankfully, it never quite got to that level). Any kind of contagious illness at such a social event would be disaterous.
Hopefully this will be the last we see of something like this, and any, season.

I remember when I lived in Vegas I heard a story on the news where a lady ate a breakfast burrito at Taco Bell and there were cockroach eggs in it, (DOnt ask me how, i dunno, jus passin on info) One day her cheek started to swell, and get infected. Turns out, the eggs were maturing in her cheek. This lady was either a full out liar, or needs to learn how to figure out whether or not her food is actually food…i think most of us would be able to tell whether or not we are munchin on cockroach eggs. YUCK!!!

Dam that is something for the Mythbusters to figure out.

That same story is in one of the old “Scary Stories” books, but it was a spider, not a roach. I think the VCU stuff was a bug, but not a bug with legs if ya get what I’m trying to say.

I’m sorry for those who got sick. It seems to me after every regional alot of people get sick. Usually it is just the flu or the cold and not something this bad. But seriously, there is lots of human contact going on, and not as much hygene that should be going on. I’m often surprised that more people don’t get ill.

I remember one year at Philly a bucket of cookie dough with spoons in it was making it way through the crowd. No one knew where it came from or where it started but most people took a bite and kept passing. Luckilly the community bucket of re-used spoons, raw eggs and sugar didn’t make me or anyone i know sick, but you get the point.

Well, it seems the “outbreak” even made my local paper! Here’s a link and text of the article, as it was requested.

(link only good for today, I believe)
Competing students sickened by virus

Daily Press

March 7, 2004

Fifty to 100 students participating in the NASA/Virginia Commonwealth University robotics competition were sickened in an outbreak of Norwalk virus infection.

The competition was Thursday through Saturday at VCU’s Siegel Center in Richmond. Between 2,500 and 3,000 students and adults from the United States and Canada attended, said Jeff Seaton, the NASA Langley Research Center official in charge of the competition.

The Norwalk virus - which has gotten publicity in recent years as the cruise ship virus - is a highly contagious gastrointestinal illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea.

The Richmond Public Health Department identified it as the cause of the illness but could not determine where it started, Seaton said.

Saturday, health officials visited with the 62 teams at the competition and gave them advice on hand-washing, using hand sanitizers and avoiding physical contact, to curtail spread of the infection.

Some students were unable to complete the competition because of illness. Some went to a hospital for treatment of symptoms, Seaton said.

Among the competitors were teams from the New Horizons Regional Education Center in Newport News and from Gloucester and Mathews counties.

Several New Horizons students became ill, Seaton said. He didn’t know if any of the Middle Peninsula students got sick.

WAVY-TV 10 contributed to this article.

Over here at 384, Sparky, some were sick before Friday. But by yesterday, members of our team, well actually a little more than half I would gather were running in and out of the arena to the bathrooms, or had upset stomaches. On Friday night, not long after the social, our arm operator, and I were both loosing our dinner, and Saturday morning around 5 am I decided I had had enough of the dry heaving, and I went the the hospital. They pumped me full of this fluid stuff, which knocked me out within 30 seconds of it getting in my blood stream, and gave me a shot, and this pill, I woke up 1 and 1/2 hour later, I was fine. It was insane, like there was nothing ever wrong, they gave me some food, I kept it down, in contrast to not being to even hold a sip of water a few hours earlier. But while I was there they took 4 test tubes full of my blood, and checked it. The results said there was no sign of any virus in my blood, but a bacteria or something that had been resulting in food posioning. Also if it was as contagious as they say it is, my parents would be sick as well, but they aren’t.
Mr. Ivey

One of our members said our team was on the news and they said it was Norwalk too (the same station that contributed to the article above). It could have been. I think it becomes contagious after you get over it but I’m not sure.

Could everyone post a rough estimate of how many people on your team were sickened? The news said that 50-100 students became ill. That estimate seems low to me given all the people I talked to. I know we (401) sent 5 extremely sick students back to Blacksburg/Christiansburg at about 5 AM on Friday. 3-4 more students were ill but stuck around including our main driver. 3 of us collegiate mentors originally from Hampton Roads came down here to stay with our parents to recuperate. I know at least one more mentor became ill also, bringing our team’s total to at least 12 (possibly more, I can home right after the tournament so I don’t know if more eventually became ill). I heard Grundy (388) lost a bunch of people, 122 i know lost their driver and human player, anyways, if anyone wants to share about how many people on their teams were sick, i’d be very interested to know how many people really came down with it.

As for tracking down the source, I believe all of us on 401 who got sick had the sandwiches from the VCU college of engineering party, we went to the team social at the science museum also, but one of the mentors who became ill didn’t eat anything, just had a single can of diet pepsi. If it was the Norwalk Virus though, I suppose it could have started from the food, and then been spread in the tight quarters in the pits and stands and from sharing bathrooms and drinking fountains with sick people.