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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.–  Several students at Westminster College are reporting Norovirus symptoms.  According to the Campus Wellness Center, the staff has seen a surge of students complaining of the “stomach flu” this week. 

“This virus is highly contagious,” wrote Wellness Center Director Melissa Barron in a campus-wide email. “Please visit the Wellness Center and follow the guidelines listed below if you are ill.”

Norovirus illness also called  “the stomach bug,” hits quickly, as soon as 12 hours after exposure.  It’s highly infectious.  It can take up to three days to recover. 

Here’s what the Wellness Center says you should do if  you become sick with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or fever, follow these guidelines:

  • Isolate yourself in your room or at home and rest.
  • Try to hydrate by drinking clear liquids, such as sports drinks (without caffeine), ice chips and water. Sipping liquids and gradually advancing the amount may be better tolerated by your gastrointestinal system.
  • Do not prepare or serve food or work in any health care, daycare or food services role until at least 48 hours after symptoms are completely resolved. Wash your hands with soap and water after using the restroom and before eating or preparing food.

To help reduce the risk of sharing and contracting norovirus, please use these preventive measures:

  • Do not share food, drinks, glasses, eating utensils or anything that has come in contact with someone else’s saliva.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using the restroom or before preparing food; use alcohol-based hand sanitizers in between times.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetable well and thoroughly cook shellfish.
  • Clean surfaces with an EPA-approved disinfectant or use a preparation of 5-25 tablespoons of household bleach to 1 gallon of water.
  • Wash towels, bedding and clothing that may have been contaminated with virus splatter.

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