The University of Southern California has had an outbreak of norovirus. In the last week or so, over 103 cases have been reported (Outbreak News Today). Norovirus, a member of the family Caliciviridae, has a fecal-oral transmission pattern (CDC - Transmission) that strikes its victims quickly, often in less than 48 hours (CDC - Symptoms). Due to this transmission pattern, some speculate that the outbreak at USC resulted from either the dining hall or dorms (LAist). This usually happens when an individual comes into contact with an infected individual’s fecal matter or vomit, typically via some type of fomite such as unwashed fruit or utensils (CDC - Transmission).
USC is encouraging sick students to avoid class and other activities to limit the spread of norovirus. In addition, it is providing “stomach friendly” meals to bedridden students consisting of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast in order to give them some sustenance while not upsetting their digestive system further (LAist). This is good as the symptoms of norovirus typically center around diarrhea and vomiting lasting 1-3 days and students may be wary of eating. Because of these symptoms, dehydration is also a major concern and patients are encouraged to focus on maintaining their fluid levels while sick (CDC - Symptoms).
- Devon Z.
CDC - Transmission: http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/about/transmission.html
CDC - Symptoms: http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/about/symptoms.html
Outbreak News Today: http://outbreaknewstoday.com/usc-norovirus-outbreak-sickens-100/