After a large number of cases of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and low grade fever in the greater Farmville area, in particular hundreds linked to Hampden-Sydney College, another local school is reporting norovirus cases.
According to Longwood University officials, over the weekend, four cases of students with gastrointestinal issues were reported to university officials.
In each case, cleaning crews disinfected the reported area with bleach. The university is continuing to monitor the situation and cleaning crews are standing by. Students, faculty and staff who do not have symptoms of the virus should continue to practice good hygiene, including washing hands often (remember to always wash for 20 seconds).
Alexander P. Samuel,MD, MPH, Health Director with the Piedmont Health District said in a letter to the Longwood University Community: Norovirus is a very common gastrointestinal virus that is often spread person‐to‐person or from an infected food source. The virus is very contagious and can spread rapidly in a community.
Close living conditions is a common factor that can lead to rapid spread of the virus. During the cooler months, the Health Department commonly receives reports of Norovirus outbreaks in congregant living facilities.
There are several preventative measures that all students, faculty and staff should take to help ward off this virus: Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds each time, stay hydrated, clean rooms, wash laundry and use hand sanitizer that is at least 70% alcohol.
If you come down with the virus, clean up all vomit or stool with a mixture of bleach and soapy water, push fluids by taking sips of water or sports drinks, and try to rest. A significant health risk associated with this virus is dehydration. Some of the most common signs of significant dehydration are dizziness, severe abdominal cramps and headache. If you experience no break between spells of vomiting and diarrhea, seek immediate medical attention.