The university will continue this week using special virus-related cleaning procedures as it monitors an outbreak of norovirus on U-M’s Ann Arbor campus.
Approximately 150 students have sought treatment for vomiting and diarrhea in the past week.
“We believe the outbreak has stabilized as just a handful of new cases were reported over the weekend,” says Dr. Robert Winfield, the university’s chief health officer. “The new cases were not concentrated in one specific area on campus.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that those who are ill should stay home and wash their hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom and before meals. Alcohol hand cleansers are less effective but an acceptable second choice.
“Good hand hygiene is particularly critical in continuing to break the chain of transmission,” says Winfield. “Individuals should avoid sharing food and drinks, and wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.”
Additional prevention tips include cleaning and disinfecting contaminated surfaces such as counter tops and cell phones, and avoiding contact with others who may be ill. For surfaces, wipes containing chlorine are most effective against norovirus.
University Dining facilities are open and operating with regular hours and menu items. University Dining also has been delivering meals to ill students who are staying in their rooms until they feel better.
A precise initial cause of the outbreak has not yet been determined.
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 will continue to collaborate in trying to determine the source of the outbreak.