Mystery Illness Strikes Troy Nursing Home

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Health officials on Thursday were investigating the cause of an illness that has spread through an assisted-living facility, leaving one resident dead and eight hospitalized.

T.J. Bucholz, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Community Health, said that the illnesses were believed to have been caused by a norovirus, a class of gastrointestinal viruses often found on cruise ships.

Residents at the Alterra Clare Bridge facility in Troy, which has a total of 21 residents, began experiencing symptoms, including, vomiting, diarrhea, low-grade fever, and dehydration, Wednesday afternoon, Bucholz said. Two staff members also fell ill, he said.

Bucholz said the man who died had an underlying medical condition.

Oakland County health officials are at the scene trying to determine the source. Possibilities include food, water or sanitation.

Bucholz said the virus can spread through physical contact, so anyone who visited the facility in recent days could be at risk.