Did you get infected? Virus runs amok amid JavaOne

No, not that kind of virus. An alert from the San Francisco health department says that a number of people fell ill while working or attending events at the Moscone Center since April 30.

Sun Microsystems has bragged for 13 years now that Java security features keep the programming technology virus-free. Apparently, the same doesn't hold for the JavaOne trade show .

The San Francisco Department of Public Health put out a release Thursday with an alert that "several" people had become ill after attending or working at conferences at the city's Moscone Convention Center between April 30 and Thursday. That includes the time when the JavaOne confab took over the space. JavaOne opened its doors on Sunday and ends Friday.

The culprit specified in the alert was the norovirus.

To clarify, this is a virus that makes you barf and gives you diarrhea. It's not the kind of virus that sends Viagra-pitching e-mails to all your friends or treats you to a Rick Astley sing-along every time you turn on your computer.

No, you won't drop dead from it. Norovirus is better known as one of the viruses that causes a nasty stomach flu. Symptoms only last about a day or two, but it's highly contagious. Just to up the gross-out factor: Norovirus is found in the fecal matter or vomit of people who are infected. If they don't wash their hands properly, they spread it when they handle food or drinks.

The health department is requesting that people who believe they have a norovirus-related illness keep away from the Moscone Center until they have been symptom-free for 48 hours.

Yes, yes, I know it's one of San Francisco's singles hotspots, but this is for the greater good. In the meantime, make sure you wash your hands.

And you can rest assured that all ickiness will be removed from the Moscone Center, as the health department "is working with the organizers of the meeting facilities to make cleaning recommendations and to confirm the cause of the illnesses." You think maybe it was Neil Young ?

CNET News.com's Stephen Shankland contributed to this story.

 

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