CARY — After a Sunday church service last week, 40 members of a Cary Baptist church caught a stomach virus, including the pastor's family.
About 140 people gathered for Sunday worship at North Cary Baptist Church on Reedy Creek Road and then ate a pot luck lunch together, said Pastor Mark Minervino.
Soon after, people began falling ill and vomiting, he said. At first, they thought it was food poisoning, but the illness passed between family members at different times.
They later discovered a child in the church had been ill two days before the pot luck. The child was not there Sunday, but relatives were, Minervino said.
No one has been hospitalized, Minervino said. The pastor spoke with a Wake County Health Department official, who told him it is probably the norovirus, a stomach bug that swept through Wake County earlier this year.
Wil Glenn, a spokesman for the Wake County Health Department, said officials have spoken with Minervino and "all precautionary steps have been taken."
"We don't think this is any kind of community outbreak," he continued, adding he encourages people to wash hands and disinfect surfaces.
Minervino said he's not fallen ill yet, but three of his five children have. And his wife was member No. 40, the last reported case. But, he said, she's feeling better this afternoon.
Church members, who Minervino referred to as "brave," disinfected the church this week with alcohol wipes. The church also canceled a youth group lock-in that was to take place tonight.
The church will be open Sunday, Minervino said, adding the outbreak has brought the congregation closer.
"They have such good spirits, and it's really drawn us to watch over one another," he said.