Virus outbreak hits campus

Norovirus, Stomach Flue, Thurston, Sick People
Nurse practioners from Student Health Service offered free office hours in Thurston Hall Thursday afternoon for consultations and information about the norovirus. Hatchet File Photo.

Updated Feb. 15, 5:23 p.m.

About 85 students are suffering from a norovirus outbreak, according to a public health notice released by the University Wednesday.

“There is no single commonality among the cases, which have occurred among students living on the Foggy Bottom campus, Mount Vernon campus and off-campus, taking classes, studying and dining in many different locations,” the notice read. GW worked with the D.C. Department of Health to confirm the gastrointestinal illness was a norovirus.

More than 20 million norovirus cases – which spread easily – hit the U.S. yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The center’s website recommends individuals wash their hands frequently to avoid falling sick, but warns that there is no vaccine or drugs to prevent or treat the norovirus.

GW is intensifying cleaning efforts at heavily trafficked areas like the Marvin Center, Gelman Library and the Lerner Health and Wellness Center as a response to the outbreak, according to the notice.

Symptoms of the virus outbreak include diarrhea, throwing up, nausea, and stomach cramping. It is contracted through direct and close contract with infected individuals, or by making contact contaminated areas and then touching a person’s mouth.

Students are encouraged to contact GW Student Health Service if they have the virus.

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