Stomach flu sickens many students on campus

An outbreak of stomach flu that coincided with the start of Intersession Jan. 29 has affected about 100 students so far, but is showing signs of abating, according to University spokesman Martin Mbugua. Typical symptoms for this kind of flu, also known as gastroenteritis, include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes fever.
 
Students have been treated at McCosh Health Center and a large number returned to their dorms or residences to recuperate, he said. University Health Services (UHS) and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety issued campus hygiene advisories on Feb. 3 and 6, which provided the University community with information on preventing the spread of the illness and asked those students already affected to avoid close contact with others and contact UHS.
 

Last week, according to Mbugua, samples tested positive for norovirus, a highly contagious virus often contracted by touching contaminated surfaces, eating contaminated food, or having direct contact with a contaminated person. The illness lasts two to three days, on average, and sick persons are told to avoid other people for another two to three days.
 
According to The Daily Princetonian, nearly half of the performers on the Triangle Club’s intersession tour to several East Coast cities were felled by the illness. Still-recovering students filled in for those too sick to perform, and the club said the tour was a success. Some students on an intersession training trip for the Princeton Ski and Snowboarding Team also were sickened, according to the Prince.

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