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Stomach bug-like sickness, norovirus, confirmed in Madison County

MADISON COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Colgate University has said that at least two of 15 students have reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness, consistent with the norovirus infection, and have tested positive.

On top of that, there are an additional 54 suspected cases that are under investigation within the Hamilton community.

According to Madison County Public Health, most suspect cases are associated with attendance at different social events, held on and off campus. The first student with a confirmed case attended a fundraising event at the Colgate Inn on Feb. 22 and began feeling symptoms after.

Norovirus is similar to the stomach bug, as it causes vomiting and diarrhea. However, it’s very contagious.

“Due to the infectious nature of norovirus, more confirmed cases are expected as the investigation continues,” said the Madison County Public Health.

Colgate University is working with Madison County Public Health to identify cases, investigate, interview, provide education and enhance cleaning to slow the spread of illness.

The CDC says the virus has spread across the northeast over the last few weeks.

To lower your risk of getting or spreading norovirus infection, Madison County Public Health recommends you:

  • STAY HOME if you are sick. To keep norovirus to yourself, do not attend school, work, social functions or activities until 48 hours after your symptoms have ended.
  • Practice good handwashing. Thoroughly rub hands together with soap and water for 20 seconds after using the bathroom, sneezing or coughing, or having contact with soiled surfaces or items.
  • Note that hand sanitizers are not usually effective against norovirus.
  • Practice safe food handling as norovirus can spread through contaminated food or water.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables and cook shellfish thoroughly before eating.
  • Do NOT prepare or serve food or care for others when you are sick with norovirus or any diarrheal illness for at least 48 hours after symptoms have ended.
  • Do NOT share dining items, such as utensils and cups.
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces or objects with a bleach solution several times daily.
  • To make a bleach solution daily, use 3/4 cup concentrated bleach (or 1 cup of regular strength bleach) to one gallon of water. To disinfect, leave the surface wet with the bleach solution for at least 5 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with clean water.

CLICK HERE for more information on norovirus.

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