western Connecticut

Health Officials Say Norovirus Sickened People at Western Connecticut State University

The recent gastrointestinal outbreak at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury is Norovirus, according to officials from the State Department of Public Health.

Western Connecticut State University in Danbury is closed today after around 100 students became sick last week.

“DPH’s Epidemiology and Food Protection Programs, along with the State Laboratory, are coordinating with officials at WCSU, the Danbury Health Department and Danbury Hospital to investigate an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness at WCSU that has now been confirmed through laboratory tests to be Norovirus,” the Department of Public Health said in a statement.

Students complained of symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea and the school has encouraged anyone who is experiencing symptoms to go home if possible and see their doctor or visit an urgent care or a hospital emergency room for treatment and ask to be tested for a possible virus.

State officials said the illnesses were first reported on Friday afternoon, but some of the ill patients became sick as early as Tuesday, April 17.

“We have advised WCSU on proper cleaning procedures for Norovirus and will continue to investigate and coordinate with officials in Danbury and at WCSU. In order to avoid becoming ill with Norovirus or spreading the virus, students and staff should practice frequent hand washing with soap and water. They should also avoid preparing food for others, working in a day care center, health care facility or food service establishment if having gastrointestinal symptoms – vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, low grade fever – and seek medical attention if those symptoms become severe,” the statement from the state Department of Health.

Students are encouraged to wash their hands before eating or handling food, and to avoid sharing food or drink with others. Any students who vomit in their dormitory should contact Housing or Residence Life staff to help with cleanup.

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