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Stanford tries to stem norovirus outbreak

Dorm to be sanitized, county health officials speaking to healthy and ill students after 52 infected

After a reported outbreak of norovirus infected 52 Stanford students, the university put its infectious disease protocols in place yesterday at one residential hall.

Though the source of the infections has yet to be determined -- Stanford is coordinating with the Santa Clara County Health Department and Environmental Health Officials to investigate -- the Florence Moore residential complex dining hall will be completely sanitized, according to a press release.

"Intensive cleaning" of all common areas and bathrooms in the complex will also be conducted. Four hundred and fifty-three undergraduates live in Florence Moore, in seven residences.

To attempt to identify the source of the virus, county health officials will speak to both healthy and sick students who live in the dorm and go over all of their residence hall and dining activities since Sunday, Oct. 27, in the hopes to isolate a pattern. The investigation is expected to take several days to complete.

An initial review of food handlers in the residential dining hall found that no employees were a source of the virus, according to a press release. Preliminary information also indicates that the disease didn't spread through a "common food source," the press release reads.

All of the students became ill between Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, Oct. 29 and 30, reporting stomach flu symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. All students were recovering within 24 hours, according to Ira Friedman, director of the Vaden Health Center.

No new illnesses were reported Thursday, Oct. 31, but norovirus can spread for more than 72 hours after the initial infection.

Norovirus is a highly contagious, common virus that causes flu-like symptoms. It can be easily spread from infected individuals through feces on unclean hands, the air near vomit or anything touched by an infected person. The virus is also known to spread quickly in places where large groups of people are living in close proximity, such as a residence hall.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sealed with a kiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2013 at 4:23 pm

NYTimes:
"Welcomed With Kisses, Stanford Freshmen Risk the 'Kissing Disease' "
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Students, faculty, and staff at California Institute of the Arts also got hit with the Norovirus within the past few days. Dozens went to the ER. The cafeteria and now the school is shut down. Wonder if there is a connection with the food services of the two schools?


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