Oregon State University (OSU) officials have reported an outbreak of a norovirus-like illness, or “stomach flu” that has affected approximately 50-60 students at the Corvallis campus.
The etiology has not been identified and test results for norovirus are expected next week.
Executive Director, Jenny Haubenreiser and Medical Director, Dr. Jeff Mull with OSU Student Health Services write in a message to the OSU community that the virus is highly contagious and can affect all members of our campus community, requiring vigilance on the part of every member to contain transmission and spread.
In an effort to minimize continued spread, various departments have increased custodial services, including the residence halls, dining centers, Student Health Services, Valley Library, Dixon Recreation and the Memorial Union. This work involves deep cleaning of all touchpoints such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, entryways, and tables.
Benton County Health Department officials have been consulting with OSU health officials since students began reporting symptoms on Wednesday of last week. At this point, county health officials believe that there is no clear indication of a specific food source or location that may be responsible for these infections. A variety of individual transmission routes likely are responsible. These include person-to-person contact or person-to-object-to-person transmission through shared living spaces, food utensils, cups—even cell phones—among other items.
School health officials shared the following preventive hygiene steps:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Hand sanitizers do not work on Norovirus.
- Do not share utensils, water bottles, drinking cups, cell phones or prepare any food for friends.
- Do not clean up infected body fluids yourself. Call for professional help. Students and staff in the residence halls and dining centers should call 541-737-2032 during the day, and contact a resident assistant after hours. Faculty, staff and students in academic buildings should call 541-737-2157.
- If ill, please continue to isolate yourself for 72 hours after last vomiting and diarrhea symptoms; the virus continues to be contagious after symptoms have resolved. This measure is essential in stopping the spread of this virus.
- If you work in the food service industry on or off campus, make arrangements to be off work for the appropriate amount of time.
- New Mexico reports 2nd Hantavirus case in Cibola County man
- Utah hepatitis C outbreak: Investigation results
- Gonorrhea increases in Montana ‘of most concern’