Oct 7, 2008 6:53 pm US/Pacific

Norovirus Hits 330 USC Students In 5 Days


Source of Article:  http://cbs2.com/local/Norovirus.Outbreak.USC.2.835111.html


LOS ANGELES Thirty more USC students have been hit with norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus, in the past 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 330 in five days, university officials said.

"Outbreaks such as this at other campuses have begun to recede in about five days," said Lawrence Neinstein, USC professor of pediatrics and medicine, and executive director of the University Park Health Center. "We find the current trend to be encouraging, but will remain vigilant because of the highly contagious nature of the virus."

The illness that struck hundreds of USC students over the weekend was confirmed to be norovirus by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Norovirus periodically breaks out on campuses, cruise ships and nursing homes. Samples of the virus will be sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further study.

Students who are not feeling well should avoid socializing and taking precautions to reduce the chance of infecting other students. To avoid contracting the virus, staff and students were urged to wash their hands frequently, use hand sanitizer gels or wipes and refrain from sharing work stations, food and beverages.

The restrooms and common areas of residence halls have been thoroughly cleaned in response to the outbreak and USC officials have provided sanitation measures to university-owned housing and fraternity and sorority row.

Campus offices and classes were operating as usual.

Students in need of special assistance can call the Department of Public Safety at (213) 740-4321.


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