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Norovirus Outbreak Affecting GWU

Students, faculty urged to take precautions against stomach illness

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An outbreak of norovirus has the George Washington University health center on alert.
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An outbreak of norovirus has the George Washington University health center on alert.

George Washington University is confirming that norovirus is infecting many at the school. According to the school's Health Service and the D.C. Department of Health, approximately 85 cases of the gastrointestinal illness have been identified among GW students since Monday.

The cases have occurred among students living on the Foggy Bottom and Mt. Vernon campuses, as well as off campus. Symptoms of norovirus infection usually include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps.

Students, faculty and staff are being encouraged to frequently wash their hands and disinfect work surfaces. The university is thoroughly cleaning heavily used common areas.

GW student Julie Alderman says the university has urged students to take the obvious precautions. 

"Just to keep up with personal hygiene, wash your hands all the time, if you're sick, don't go to class, just stay in your room," Alderman says. "Basically, stuff you learned in 4th grade health."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus is passed through close contact with an infected person; by eating contaminated food or by touching a contaminated surface.

The university at this point has not been able to pinpoint the source of the outbreak.

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