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Published On: Fri, Nov 1st, 2013

Stanford University: Florence Moore Hall being sanitized after likely norovirus outbreak

The  Florence Moore Hall is undergoing a complete sanitization Friday and Saturday after dozens of Stanford University students were sickened with probable norovirus after dining at the facility, according to a San Jose Mercury News report Thursday.

Norovirus Image/CDC

Norovirus Image/CDC

Fifty-two Stanford University students became ill exhibiting  flu-like symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, after eating at the dining facility Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Because the students all became ill quickly, and in the same vicinity, we believe the pattern is consistent with norovirus,” according to Ira Friedman, director of the student health facility Vaden Health Center.

The 52 students were recovering from their symptoms within 24 hours, but health officials warned that norovirus can spread for more than 72 hours after the initial infection and cautioned the 433 student residents in Florence Moore Hall to limit person-to-person contact and “be vigilant about hygiene.” 

All 52 students have recovered from their illness and it is reported that four students required hospitalization.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the “stomach flu,” or gastroenteritis in people.

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 typicallyspread 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.

The highly contagious norovirus is the second leading infectious cause of gastroenteritis-associated deaths accounting for 800 annually. 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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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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