University Health Services urging anyone with norovirus symptoms to avoid THON

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With THON just hours away, University Health Services (UHS) is urging anyone with symptoms of norovirus illness to stay home. This includes the period while symptoms are active and for at least 48 hours after symptoms resolve. Symptoms typically include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and sometimes fever. 

Norovirus illness, also called the “stomach flu” or “the stomach bug,” can hit quickly, often within 12 to 24 hours of exposure, and is highly infectious. While people generally recover from norovirus illness within 24 to 72 hours, they may still be infectious for several days after symptoms are gone, particularly for the 48 hours immediately following symptom resolution. 

People most likely to suffer from severe symptoms that may result in hospitalization are young children, older adults and anyone with compromised immune systems, such as the Four Diamonds children.

If you become sick with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or fever, follow these guidelines:

  • Stay home and rest, and try to isolate yourself from others as much as possible.
  • Try to hydrate by drinking clear liquids, such as sports drinks (without caffeine), ice chips and water. Sipping liquids and gradually advancing the amount may be better tolerated by your gastrointestinal system.
  • Do not prepare or serve food or work in any health care, daycare or food services role until at least 48 hours after symptoms are completely resolved. Do not go to THON.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after using the restroom and before eating or preparing food.

To help reduce the risk of sharing and contracting norovirus, UHS is reminding individuals to take the following preventive measures:

  • Do not share food, drinks, glasses, eating utensils or anything that has come in contact with someone else’s saliva.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using the restroom or before preparing food; use alcohol-based hand sanitizers in between times.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetable well and thoroughly cook shellfish.
  • Clean surfaces with an EPA-approved disinfectant or use a preparation of 5-25 tablespoons of household bleach to 1 gallon of water. This is especially important for nearby surfaces after vomiting or diarrhea since viral particles can splatter. Wear rubber household gloves when cleaning, and disinfect them when done. Wash your hands when done cleaning.
  • Wash towels, bedding and clothing that may have been contaminated with virus splatter.

For additional information on norovirus, visit the CDC website at If you have additional questions about your risks, please contact the UHS advice nurses at 814-863-4463 or visit UHS online.

Last Updated February 24, 2016