Confirming Norovirus for Students

According to the information from Minnesota Department of Health, the laboratory analytical results for three specimens collected from CSB/SJU have confirmed the presence of norovirus.

There continue to be a low number of symptomatic patients and students who have self-reported onset of symptoms over the weekend, but the trend of the illness is generally on the decline. Following are a few more reminders to sustain the campaign against this virus.

Hand-washing remains the single most important procedure for preventing the spread of infection.

  • Wash your hands with Soap & warm water for 10-20 seconds, which is comparable to singing “You are my Sunshine” twice.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are provided on both campuses and should be considered an adjunct to hand-washing and not a replacement. Use hand sanitizers ONLY:

  • When soap & water are not available
  • Between hand-washings
  • To supplement hand-washing

Apply 1 ml (¾ inch diameter/nickel size of gel) of the sanitizer, rub and allow a 10-15 second contact time before touching something.

How do you decide whether to come to work or class? – The symptoms of this virus are experiencing acute-onset vomiting, watery non-bloody diarrhea with abdominal cramps, nausea, and a low-grade fever. If you have these symptoms, you should not go to class or work, but rather inform your supervisor, RD/FR, and remain at home or in your residential hall. Dehydration is the most common complication of this illness, so if you are unable to keep liquids down, be sure to seek medical advise.

If a situation arises in which environmental surfaces have potentially been contaminated by a symptomatic person, please report this immediately to house keeping/custodial services for effective disinfection. Do not settle on routine household disinfectants, as many of the products are ineffective against norovirus. If you have questions about proper cleaning techniques, please refer to the CSB Counseling and Health Education web site on subject “Why Disinfect”  to be reminded of them.

Good hand washing is the most effective way to ensure an environment that decreases the risk of contamination from infection. Enhanced sanitation procedures are necessary as to prevent and control its frequency. We as CSB/SJU community have responded very well to ensure that both of these important procedures are known and practiced.