Norovirus reported on DePaul’s campus

Norovirus reported on DePauls campus

An email sent by Public Safety Friday warned the DePaul community that a commuter student was contracted a case of the norovirus. Highly contagious and with symptoms similar to the flu, the virus case escalates the need for sanitation, sleep and wellness on campus.

Norovirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is highly contagious and is passed through contact with infected people, contaminated food or water and by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes stomach and intestine inflammation and results in stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

There is no specific medical treatment for norovirus and it cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral, not bacterial, infection. The CDC recommends drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Cheryl Hover, assistant director of Emergency Management at DePaul, said the Chicago Public Health Department notified DePaul that a student had a confirmed case of the virus. Hover said due to the interest of the student’s privacy, no other information about their condition would be released.

“DePaul’s Facilities personnel will continue the deep cleaning of campus buildings that it began doing two weeks ago when some residence hall students contracted the stomach flu,” the email read. “In addition, they will begin wiping down computer keyboards.”

The email emphasized the need for sick students to isolate themselves in order to prevent a spread.

“If you become ill, please isolate yourself and do not go to class or Food Service. Because symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, it’s important that you remain hydrated.  Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, especially when getting up, and weakness,” the email read.

According to the CDC, norovirus infects 19 to 21 million people every year in the U.S. and it is common in hospitals, restaurants and on cruise ships. It is often related to food-related illnesses.