The University of California at Berkeley has reported nearly 30 cases of students reporting norovirus-like symptoms during the past 10 days and now school officials say that three of the students have been confirmed positive for the virus.
According to a Contra Costa Times report, several students fell ill after attending a Bollywood Berkeley dance competition Feb. 20 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland.
However, officials emphasize no single location or event ties all the cases together.
Officials are advising people to wash their hands frequently with soap and water; clean surfaces after an illness using a cleaner with bleach; wash contaminated clothing or linens right away and to stay home when you’re sick.
UC Berkeley is not alone. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Ursinus College in Pennsylvania and Miami University in Ohio, all reported large outbreaks of norovirus with case counts into the hundreds.
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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