Rider University suffers norovirus outbreak: Classes still not canceled

Thursday, 09 February 2012 19:16
riderU020912_optBY BOB HOLT

A contagious illness associated with stomach flu and food poisoning affected its second New Jersey university in a week.

Rider University in Lawrenceville announced that about 40 of its students became ill and were treated at local hospitals for a gastrointestinal illness Wednesday night.

The school suspected that an outbreak of norovirus had affected its students. According to theridernews.com, some of the students have already been discharged and are back on campus.

A norovirus outbreak began at nearby Princeton University about a week ago.

The Daily Princetonian reported that Princeton’s McCosh Health Center saw about 90 students with symptoms of gastroenteritis during the past two weeks. The first campus hygiene advisory came Feb. 3, followed by another one three days later. The cause of the illness was thought to be norovirus.

The Centers for Disease Control said its symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and vomiting, according to philly.com. It spreads from touching contaminated surfaces, and then eating or drinking. CNN reports that norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S.

According to NBC 10 Philadelphia, Rider food services are cleaning and sterilizing bathrooms, dining halls and other areas. Students or staff members possibly feeling the effects of the illness are directed to call Ext. 5029 or 609-896-5029. School officials said any students feeling ill would be sent to the Conover lounge.

No classes and scheduled events have been cancelled at this point.

Comments (2)
2 Friday, 10 February 2012 17:41
Most people likely don't realize that 7% of food poisoning outbreaks occur in schools and that nearly 30% of all outbreaks are caused by Norovirus. This is spread from someone who is otherwise infected. Unfortunately there is a great need to educate food handlers and food servers on when to stay home, if ill and how to prevent spread of disease in the workplace. Thanks for bringing this issue to your viewers. Dr. Stueven, Founder, DiningGrades.com
1 Friday, 10 February 2012 03:10
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