The DC Department of Health is investigating a possible outbreak of Norovirus at Howard University.
Howard University says 40 students have been treated for norovirus symptoms in the last 24 hours. Officials have notified students, staff and faculty members to take precautions. The school is advising students and faculty to constantly wash their hands and disinfect surfaces.
Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. The illness is spread from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces.
Last week George Washington University reported 85 similar cases of the highly contagious stomach illness.
When I was in undergraduate school, we had a similar outbreak. A meningitis outbreak was a major scare for students [us] attending Dillard University in New Orleans. University officials worked to prevent such an outbreak, after it was suspected that a student died from the disease. There are many cases similar to these when dealing with college campuses. These colleges and universities are large incubators for many diseases. Be safe!