With some 40 Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) students coming down ill with norovirus-like symptoms (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and fever) during the past week, school officials announced that the La Prima Espresso in Wean Hall would be closed until Monday for cleaning and sanitization.
The decision to close the eatery was made by CMU Dining Services and La Prima Espresso in consultation with the Allegheny County Health Department.
University Health Services (UHS) announced the outbreak of “gastrointestinal distress” on Wednesday and noted that a number of students purchased soup and/or sandwiches from La Prima Espresso earlier in the week.
The exact etiology of the gastrointestinal outbreak has not been identified, but norovirus is high on the list of suspects.
Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.
The symptoms include nausea,vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever,chills,headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.
Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.
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