In a follow-up on the outbreak of illnesses at Western Connecticut State University, University President John B. Clark announced today that Norovirus was identified as the source of the illness that sickened more than 100 students.
Clark said the common areas on both the Westside and Midtown campuses have been cleaned to standards set by the Centers for Disease Control.
“We have confidence that students, faculty and staff can learn and work together and stay healthy, as long as everyone follows state-recommended appropriate treatment and precautions,” Clark said.
The state health department encourages frequent hand-washing to reduce general contamination. It is recommended that students wash their hands before and after computer use. Use a plain (non-antimicrobial) liquid soap for routine hand washing with temperate (warm) water, scrub vigorously for at least 15 seconds and then rinse under a stream of warm water.
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.