The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh (UW-Oshkosh) and The Winnebago County Public Health Department are reporting an increase number of people on the campus affected by norovirus. As of Thursday, approximately 40 students have reported norovirus-like symptoms. Most of the affected students live in residence halls.

Campus officials are asking faculty, staff and students to self-report if symptoms are present.

Norovirus can cause the sudden onset of stomach pain, severe vomiting and diarrhea. The most effective way to stop the spread of the norovirus and other gastrointestinal illnesses is to practice good handwashing and hygiene and stay home if symptoms present.

People experiencing persistent, severe vomiting or diarrhea should go to the Student Health Center, a personal healthcare provider or an emergency healthcare facility.

The University is taking every precaution to contain the spread of the illness and to assist ill students.

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 nauseavomitingdiarrhea, 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.

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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.