Eleven Santa Monica youth football players became violently ill on Friday while in Las Vegas for the National Youth Football Championships.
Alastair Jones, Santa Monica Vikings Youth Football coach and parent, said the players had symptoms of vomiting and dizziness after checking into the Rio hotel on Thursday.
He took his seven-year-old son along with many of his teammates to an area hospital.
“I was really scared because I didn’t really know what was going on,” Jones said.
Sports Network International Inc., which organized the event, estimated that as many as 80 children out of the 7,000 participating also became ill.
CBS reports the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health is investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, the Rio hotel has also launched its own investigation.
“The Rio is working closely with the CCFD (Clark County Fire Department) to determine the cause,” Caesars Entertainment spokeswoman Celena Haas told KTNV Chanel 13 Action News.
A statement posted on the Santa Monica Vikings Youth Football and Cheer Facebook page said contrary to some media reports, the team did not bring the virus to the Rio hotel.
“There were several other people infected, including people that did not stay at the Rio but had contact in the Rio,” the statement said. “Eventually, the virus spread throughout Vegas because of the different tournament occurring this weekend.”
The statement said even though the team was affected heavily by this virus, all of the parents and players banded together and pulled through as a family on every level and helped each other out.