Organizers of the South Korea Winter Olympics that open Friday are scrambling as fears about norovirus has sidelined more than a thousand private security staffers.
South Korean military personnel are providing security while the private staff undergo medical tests. Norovirus is highly contagious and causes symptoms that include stomach cramps and vomiting. Officials don’t want a repeat of last year’s World Athletics Championship in London, when several athletes became ill and had to miss competitions. The virus there spread through one hotel.
Organizers also are worried about a cold snap that's moving in. Temperatures are staying below freezing during the day and falling below zero at night. Some people are cancelling their tickets for Friday night's opening ceremony. Competitions may also be affected by weather as events like ski jumping can’t take place in high winds. Wind screens are now being installed to prevent that.
A special bag with hot packs, seatwarmers, a blanket, a hat and a windbreaker would be distributed to spectators in an effort to keep them warm at the start of what could turn out to be the coldest winter Olympics in decades.