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UMich Norovirus Outbreak Confirmed By State Health Officials

U-Michigan Campus
Image Credit: Andrew Horne via Wikimedia Commons

An outbreak of the norovirus on the University of Michigan campus has been confirmed by state health officials in Michigan.with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Confirmation from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, announced Friday, comes after more than 100 U-Mich students reportedly falling ill and seeking treatment for diarrhea and vomiting this week.

Prior to the official finding, the university’s chief health officer, Dr. Robert A. Winfield, indicated that the gastrointestinal illness on campus might be the result of the norovirus, Fox News reported.

In addition to diarrhea and vomiting, symptoms of the Norwalk virus include nausea, abdominal pain, cramps, malaise, muscle pain and a low-grade fever, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The CDC advises those who contract the norovirus, which is highly contagious, to frequently wash their hands prior to eating and after using the bathroom. If hand washing is not an option, alcohol wipes can serve as an acceptable, but less effective alternative.

Dr. Winfield reflected the CDC’s sentiments in a statement in which he stressed the importance of “good hygiene” and not sharing drinks or food.

As we head into the weekend and the number of social activities increase on campus, it is especially important for individuals to practice good hand hygiene and to avoid sharing food and drinks.

The university’s public affairs department tweeted news of the confirmation on Twitter.

While the cause of the outbreak remains under investigation, U-Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald indicated that all of the students who had fallen ill ate at the university’s South Quad cafeteria.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most infected will see the symptoms disappear within one to three days and won’t require treatment to recover. Following recovery, those infected remain contagious for a minimum of two to three days.

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