Preventive hygiene advised to limit the spread of norovirus on campus

April 11, 2018

While it may seem like cold and flu season are behind us, a recent increase in reported cases of norovirus have been identified in the local community.

Norovirus is a common gastrointestinal (GI) pathogen that can surface at any time of the year. It is a very contagious virus that causes the stomach and/or intestines to become inflamed and may lead to stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms are most commonly characterized by their sudden onset and typically subside within 24-72 hours, although a person may still be infectious for several days after symptoms are gone.

Students are especially at risk for contracting norovirus due to shared living spaces and restrooms, and through close contact with others in classrooms and social activities. 

Preventive measures can be taken to reduce the risk of acquiring the illness and passing it along to others. Students should be exceptionally mindful of their personal health and hygiene routines and follow the tips below to limit the spread of norovirus on campus.

  • Practice proper hand hygiene. Wash hands before eating, handling food, or touching your mouth. Always use soap and warm water and wash hands for at least 15-20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when it is not possible to wash hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid sharing food or drink.
  • If you develop GI symptoms, do not prepare or serve food to others until you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.

More information on norovirus, including prevention, symptoms and treatment methods, can be obtained by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Students who believe they may have contracted norovirus should contact University Health Services to schedule an appointment, or contact the University Health Services Advice Nurse, available 24/7, at 814- 863-4463.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 11, 2018