28 University of Minnesota students ill, norovirus suspected

- The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed a virus outbreak affecting at least 28 students at University of Minnesota residence halls. Health officials are leaning strongly toward norovirus, but have not yet confirmed what’s making the students sick. The source of the illness is also unknown at this time.

Ill students reported symptoms that include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Norovirus passes from one person to another from the feces or vomit of people who are sick or were recently sick, and can make someone else sick if they get the virus in their mouth and swallow it. A tiny amount of virus can make someone sick.

How to prevent norovirus infection

The following tips from MDH officials include:

Practice good handwashing and appropriate food handling.

Always wash your hands well before preparing food.

Do not prepare food for others (at home or for your job) at all if you have been sick with vomiting or diarrhea in the last three days.

If you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, wash your hands very carefully after using the restroom.

Norovirus can be present in your stool for several days even after you are feeling better, so continue to be extra careful about handwashing

Always wash your hands before eating.

Do not eat food prepared by someone who is ill with vomiting or diarrhea.

If someone in your household is sick with vomiting or diarrhea, have them use a separate bathroom, if possible.

Clean surfaces with soap and water and sanitize with a bleach solution to kill any norovirus that was spread to bathroom or kitchen surfaces.

Launder soiled clothing in hot water promptly.

Wash your hands after helping children in the bathroom or touching surfaces that may have vomit or feces on them

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