More cases of norovirus confirmed at the University of Alabama in Huntsville

On Thursday, the university confirmed nine more students have norovirus, bringing the total to at least 59 students.

Posted: Sep 12, 2019 6:16 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2019 7:24 PM

It's been an unusually busy week at the health center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

On Thursday, the university confirmed nine more students have norovirus, a nasty stomach bug, bringing the total to at least 59 students.

"Everyone is kind of freaking out about it a lot," Michael Fairbanks, a freshman at the university, said.

He's not too worried about getting sick.

"I think if people just kind of stick to themselves, don't drink and eat after each other, and wash their hands, we should be okay," Fairbanks said.

However, some didn't get so lucky.

"I thought I possibly caught it, but I'm also not sure if it was food poisoning," a freshman, Brendan Lee, said.

Lee went to the clinic on Wednesday to get checked out. He is one of the several dozen students who visited the clinic with similar symptoms that include vomiting and diarrhea.

Right now, the Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating the outbreak.

The clinic says most cases are mild with some getting better anywhere between one to three days, but they've also seen some severe cases. Four students were taken to the hospital to get better monitoring or even IVs.

At this time, health officials are trying to figure out where the virus came from. They say there is a possibility the virus made it to campus by going from person to person.

Because the virus is highly contagious, nurses are wearing face masks and gloves to avoid getting the virus. The virus can also live on surfaces for several hours, so the university is taking steps to make sure it stops spreading.

"I've gotten some messages from my professors or my TAs (teacher assistants) saying if you've been sick, just stay back in your dorm. You don't have to go to class. They've been taking some precautionary measures to try and keep everyone safe," Lee said.

The clinic says there are some ways to avoid getting sick. These include not eating or drinking after one another. They also recommend washing your hands with soap and water because hand sanitizer might not work.

For more information about the virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here

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