Over the course of a week, dozens of students at San Antonio’s Trinity University arrived at the Student Health Center suffering with the symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. On Tuesday, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported the confirmed cause of the outbreak was due to norovirus.
Over the course of a week, some 78 individuals contracted the gastrointestinal viral disease.
Dr. Anil Mangla, assistant director of the Communicable Disease Division at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, said they got the test results back Tuesday morning, and it clearly showed the illness to be a norovirus.
After Metro Health officials were notified last week, they started collecting samples for testing, but they also made recommendations to the school, such as washing hands, having students stay home when they are sick and wiping down surfaces.
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.
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