A norovirus is sidelining some 1,200 Winter Olympic security guards, and forcing the government to deploy the military ahead of Friday's Opening Ceremony

By Flora Carr
February 06, 2018 09:50 AM

A norovirus is sweeping through venues for the 2018 Winter Olympic in PyeongChang, South Korea – sidelining some 1,200 security guards and forcing the government to deploy the military ahead of the Opening Ceremony on Friday.

Officials said 41 security guards were hospitalized with the virulent virus, with symptoms that include vomiting and diarrhea. The rest of the guards were withdrawn to prevent the spread of infections. On Monday they were replaced by 900 South Korean soldiers.

Many Olympic athletes, include some from Team USA, have already arrived in PyeongChang. The first events start Thursday.

“The military personnel … will be responsible for security checks of the 20 venues as they take up jobs such as security searches, previously done by civilian safety personnel, until the patients’ condition is normalized,” a statement from the South Korean Olympic committee said.

Credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty

All Olympic accommodation and buses will be disinfected, the organizers added. Health officials are also testing water and food.

The Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement that they had dispatched “an immediate response team to the Pyeongchang site to check additional people for symptoms, check the origin of the exposure, take measures to control infection and prevent spread”.

This article originally appeared on Time.com