Last week, NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, announced that 60 students have contracted norovirus, which is a highly contagious disease causing inflammation of the stomach or intestines or both. VIGILINT’s headquarters is in the Raleigh area.
The outbreak is said to have begun on Tuesday, December 5. Wake County Human Services Department confirmed the outbreak as the norovirus two days later. Most of the sick students are from one on-campus housing quarters, Alexander Hall, however, the university released a statement that other students have reported gastrointestinal illnesses at other on-and off-campus housing locations. The students have been asked to remain in their rooms while the virus works its way out of their systems.
What is the Norovirus?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the norovirus is more commonly known as “the stomach bug” and can cause stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea with symptoms lasting for a few days. 685 million people contract the disease every year, with thousands ending up in the hospital. Of these millions, 200 million of these cases are children under the age of five, usually in developing countries.
You can contract the disease very easily through several different ways. The virus can be transmitted by interacting with someone with the virus, eating contaminated food or water, or handling contaminated surfaces.
To prevent the spread of norovirus, follow these guidelines:
- Practice good hygiene by washing your hands often throughout the day, including after using the restroom and before and after eating food
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly
- Cook certain seafood, like oysters, at 140 degrees
- If you have the virus, do not prepare food or care for others who are sick
- Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces
- Wash soiled clothes or linens thoroughly
NC State is taking additional precautions to help contain the virus and help infected students by increasing the cleaning operations in infected areas and issuing wellness kits to sick students.