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Student gastrointestinal illness confirmed as norovirus

By Beverly Clark | Emory Report | Nov. 17, 2014

Emory received confirmation Friday night, November 14, from the Georgia Public Health Laboratory and Emory Medical Lab that all patient samples taken during the initial outbreak of gastroenteritis among students November 12 have tested positive for Norovirus.

Norovirus is a highly contagious intestinal virus that causes vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain and can lead to dehydration; cases are generally resolved within 48 hours.

As of November 14, 89 students had sought care for gastroenteritis at Student Health and Counseling Services or the Emory University Hospital Emergency Department since the early morning hours of November 12. The number of new cases has slowed significantly since the initial outbreak, with just 12 new cases Saturday and Sunday. The total number of cases handled by Student Health or the Emory University Hospital Emergency Department is 101 as of Monday, November 17. The vast majority of students have been treated and released; none are currently hospitalized. Campus Life staff continue to monitor and support affected students.

Multiple units within Emory have implemented additional best practices recommended by the CDC and Emory's infectious disease experts to halt further spread of the virus. Students have received additional communications from Student Health and Counseling Services on how best to protect themselves and the steps being taken to protect the community against further infection.

View the letter sent to all Emory students Saturday from Student Health and Counseling Services.

Emory student health officials are working with DeKalb County Board of Health and experts at Emory Infectious Diseases and the Rollins School of Public Health to try and identify the original source of the infection, including the testing of food samples. DeKalb Health Department inspected the premises on Wednesday, November 12, and found no issues of concerns or infractions.