At least 60 students at the University of Rochester have been taken ill with symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Student health says one student has tested positive for norovirus, which is the likely cause of the outbreak.
Students affected are from River Campus and the Eastman School of Music.
Due to concerns with common utensils being handled by many different customers, Dining Services will soon temporarily suspend the use of self-service operations on the River Campus due to the uptick in the number of ill students. School officials say this is no reflection on the food itself being a source of the outbreak.
University Facilities is aggressively continuing with its comprehensive surface sanitizing protocol that includes River Campus and Eastman School residential common areas and bathrooms, and ServPro hygienists and sanitization crews arrived at the University early this morning to begin supplemental disinfecting work of other University public spaces.
Last night, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety with Residence Life delivered packages of Clorox Germicidal wipes to residential apartments for students to sanitize their bathrooms and surfaces. It is strongly recommended that this bathroom cleaning be done at least daily during this health event. Clorox Germicidal wipes, which are proven to be very effective against the Norovirus, are now also available at the UHS offices on River Campus and at the Eastman School.
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.
Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually in the US, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.