Dozens of Emory University in Atlanta students have been confirmed positive for the gastrointestinal bug, norovirus, according to a Channel 2 Action News report Monday.


Laboratory confirmation was made by the Georgia Public Health Laboratory.

As of Friday, 89 students had sought care for gastroenteritis at Student Health and Counseling Services or the Emory University Hospital Emergency Department since the early morning hours of Nov. 12. Over the weekend, a dozen additional cases were recorded, bringing the total to 101 cases.

It is not clear what the source of the outbreak is and the investigation is ongoing.

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 hasdiarrhea.

Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.

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