In an email to the Miami University community on Tuesday, April 12, University Communications said norovirus is present on campus.
“At least one of the gastrointestinal illnesses (“stomach bug”) reported by students during the past week is caused by norovirus,” the email read.
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis, commonly known as stomach flu, in the U.S. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting caused by inflammation of the stomach and/or intestines.
Although not an airborne virus like COVID-19, norovirus is still highly contagious. It spreads through contact with an infected person or contaminated food, water and surfaces.
Anyone can get norovirus and can get it multiple times.
“There is no vaccine to prevent norovirus infection, nor an antibiotic or other medication to treat the infection,” the email read. “Instead, cleanliness, fluids, rest, and the passage of time are your best remedies.”
The email also included tips for preventing the contraction of norovirus, including thorough hand-washing with soap, not hand sanitizer, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
Miami has increased its cleaning frequency in dining halls and residence halls and is using a disinfectant effective against norovirus, according to the email.
Those infected with norovirus should stay home.
“If you think you have norovirus: Do not attend class, work, or events (including social events) if you have symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea until 48 hours after your symptoms have resolved,” the email read.
The email also recommends anyone who is infected drink lots of fluids, as dehydration is associated with norovirus. Resident Directors will have a limited amount of water bottles and Gatorade to give out to infected students.
Students with severe or persistent symptoms should contact Student Health Services.
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More information about norovirus can be found here.