Norovirus outbreak sickens 50 Chapman University students

ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- A highly contagious stomach virus has sickened about 50 students at Chapman University in Orange, school officials said in a statement.

The Orange County Health Care Agency confirmed they received about 30 reports of ill students on Friday, and have since identified the culprit as norovirus, which causes flu-like symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and stomach cramping.

Laboratory results showed samples from affected students tested positive for the virus.

An on-campus cafeteria was sanitized over the weekend to further prevent the spread of any germs. Randall Dining, Chapman University's main dining cafeteria, was identified as one potential source but health officials stress that there are multiple ways the virus can spread and the exact origin of the virus remains unknown.

The virus can be transmitted from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Chapman University said the health department determined the outbreak was likely not foodborne because at least nine of the students reporting symptoms live off-campus and did not use campus dining facilities.

Crews cleaned high-traffic areas at Chapman University and the areas used by the affected students in addition to the main dining cafeteria.

Some ways to prevent the spread of norovirus is by washing your hands carefully with soap and water, using hand sanitizer in addition to hand-washing, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking seafood thoroughly and disinfecting contaminated surfaces.

Most people who contract norovirus get better within one to three days.
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