UM confirms norovirus outbreak that sickened over 100

The Detroit News

Norovirus has been confirmed as the cause of an illness outbreak that has sickened more than 100 students this week at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued the finding, according to a UM news release.

More than 100 students have suffered symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea and sought treatment in the past several days, according to the university. The outbreak was first identified among students living in UM’s West Quad and South Quad dormitories.

“As we head into the weekend and the number of social activities increase on campus, it is especially important for individuals to practice good hand hygiene,” said Dr. Robert Winfield, UM’s chief health officer, including frequent hand-washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

The federal Centers for Disease Control advises anyone who is ill to wash their hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom and before meals. Alcohol hand wipes are less effective but can be used if soap and water aren’t available.

According to the CDC, norovirus is highly contagious and easily spread between people. Both stool and vomit are contagious. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, nausea and fever.​

People with symptoms are encouraged to avoid contact with others.

School officials believe they have the outbreak contained.

“We believe that number has remained relatively low as students are following our advice to self-isolate in their rooms,” Winfield said.

Officials from the University Health Service, the U-M Health System, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Washtenaw County Public Health Department are working together to determine the source of the outbreak.

UM also is using a special virus-related cleaning procedure in all dining halls and dorms.