Outside the Wes Bubble: Norovirus Goes Viral

Wesleyan seems to have become intimately acquainted with the Gastro virus over the past few weeks, but we’re not the only ones: this virus is seriously getting around on northeastern campuses, spreading puke, diarrhea, and cramps like holiday cheer wherever it goes. It all feels a bit like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but [spoiler alert] even Donald Sutherland succumbs in the end. So it goes.

Down at GW University in DC, health officials have identified approximately 85 cases of gastrointestinal fun, with many more likely unreported. “Hand sanitizer also continues to be supplied at stands located in high-traffic areas,” offers up the health advisory, apparently unaware that hand sanitizer is totally not sufficient to stop the spread.

What’s more, GW Norovirus has taken to Twitter to let prospective targets know what’s up:

And taunt some miserable victims:

Meanwhile, at Middlebury, gastro has sent nineteen students to a local Vermont emergency room, not to mention the additional 60 students who showed up at the campus health center exhibiting symptoms. Apparently when you’re in Vermont, you can take extra-seclusive measures to avoid the illness:

“I feel as if about half of my friends got it,” wrote Taylor Sundali [Middlebury ’12] in an email. “My contingent of friends included some paranoid Nordic skiers who hid out in some off-campus houses to get away from the germs. Most of them successfully avoided illness.”

Vermont’s own Department of Health even weighed in on the virus, while a Middlebury Campus article takes pity on Wes and quotes from our own medical director, Davis Smith, who suggests (probably not incorrectly) that Superbowl parties were to blame. (Can someone prepare a survey on norovirus prevalence vs. Superbowl party attendance? Please?) It also mentions Williams, where gastro cases were observed, but not nearly so severe.

Even more alarmingly, Princeton has apparently seen the worst norovirus outbreak in 10 years, affecting at least 190 students, with another 44 hospitalizations reported at nearby Rider University. (Whoah.)

The worst thing I’ve read,though? Norovirus hit three cruise ships a few weeks ago, delaying the departure of the luxurious “Voyager of the Seas” in New Orleans. Remember, kids: the only thing worse than spending eight hours doubled over vomiting in a dimly lit Butts bathroom is spending eight hours doubled over vomiting while bouncing along the the New Orleans coast during a romantic, weekend cruise.

Anyway, have a good weekend, and don’t go outside.

Pertinent linkage:

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