This story is honestly something out of my worst nightmares. There are very few things that scare me like the idea of being in a public place – in this case, a large corporate office – and suddenly being stricken with an irrepressible feeling like you’re about to shit yourself or throw up everywhere. I’m still not sure which is actually worse, and for my own phobia won’t even get into weighing the two. But, I am sure that I feel very bad for some 50 employees of a Florida-based company that saw one of my worst fears actually realized last week at their annual holiday party.
From Fox News:
Health officials are investigating what may have caused 50 people to become violently ill at an office holiday party in Maitland, Fla., ctnews.ca reported.
The lunch, prepared by a catering company, may have been contaminated with a staph infection or an uncovered lesion because the illnesses erupted soon after the employees ate their meals, infectious disease experts say. According to ProMED, Staphylococcus aureus, a family of bacteria that can cause a range of skin infections, is a possible culprit.
Blacking out and making a fool of yourself in front of your cohorts is something embarrassing that you expect to happen at your company holiday party. Catching an absolutely vicious staph infection and defecating or throwing up all over the place, is not. In fact, it’s so far down the list of normal holiday party embarrassment expectations, it’s almost unfair. There’s workers comp for this kind of thing, right?
By 3:30 p.m. [last] Wednesday, employees began vomiting and rushing to the bathroom with diarrhea. According to Orlando TV station WESH TV, some people became so sick that they passed out. Ambulances transported as many as 25 people to the hospital, while others drove themselves to doctor’s offices and hospitals.
“It’s a pretty big outbreak to have so many people become sick in one location,” Dain Weister, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health, told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s not too often that we have so many people sick.”
Dear God, I shudder to think what that office looked like in the aftermath. Hazmat suits were most definitely a must when the FBI and Homeland security officials searched the premises as a precaution. Hell, a hazmat suit will probably be necessary for these poor souls to wear to work for the next three months.
At this point, the identity of the company is still being withheld by health officials, who strongly suspect the catering gone awry was the culprit. In related news, some 50 employees of an anonymous company flooded a popular department store in Florida this weekend, all seeking out new work clothes. .
[via Fox News]