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WSCU to reopen Tuesday following norovirus outbreak

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DANBURY —In a statement Monday,  the Department of Health confirmed that the cause of all the ill WSCU students was due to the norovirus.

The school, which was closed for the day, will reopen on Tuesday according to officials.

School officials said Western Connecticut State University  will be closed on Monday due to dozens of students being ill with the virus.  The DPH said that the illness was first reported on Friday afternoon but some students became sick as early as April 17th.

On Sunday evening, the school said 100 students had fallen ill. The school had announced Friday 40 students came down with similar symptoms of stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea.

Dr. John B. Clark, President, WCSU said in a statement:

Although we are aware of a limited number of affected students, based on our discussions with the Connecticut Department of Health, the Danbury Department of Health, Danbury Hospital and the WCSU Director of Health Services, we have decided this is the best and most conservative course of action to protect our university community from infection and spread of the disease.

Spokesman Paul Steinmetz the university is working with the Department of Public Health to identify the source of the illness. Email messages have been sent to inform students of the outbreak, and the school closed one cafeteria and multiple common areas for cleaning over the weekend.

The school said Sunday that they're certain it is "not e-coli," and no new cases have been reported since Saturday. The school's music department postponed a concert due to many orchestra members falling ill. Students are being asked to not share food and drinks with others.

CDC info on Norovirus

The school said students feeling sick experiencing vomiting, diarrhea or stomach pain, follow these guidelines:

  1. Please, if possible, go home to limit spread to others on campus.
  2. Drink plenty of fluids.
  3. Clean all surfaces contaminated with vomit or stool with a bleach solution. Launder soiled clothes right away. Students who live on campus should contact Housing and Residence Life staff to assist with room cleaning if necessary.
  4. If you become dehydrated, go to the nearest emergency department. (Signs of dehydration include dizziness, dry mouth, decreased urination, headache, muscle cramps, thirst.)
  5. You may return to campus two to three days after you have recovered
  6. If you are unable to go home, stay in your room, report your situation to your Resident Director, and stay in touch with your family or others who will check on you.

These tips might help you stay well:

  1. Use good hand hygiene and keep your fingers out of your mouth.
  2. Don’t share food, drinks, cups, or utensils.
  3. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
  4. Clean surfaces in your living space frequently with bleach wipe.

The school is recommending that students go home, if possible, and if they fall ill, stay in their room to prevent the spread of the disease.

The university has about 5,700 students on two campuses in the city.

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