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Norovirus Outbreak On OSU Campus


Benton County health officials have confirmed an outbreak of norovirus at Oregon State University.

Bill Emminger is director of Benton County Environmental Health Division. He says the first suspected cases appeared about a week ago.

Emminger: “As of this morning, we had 88 cases that OSU was tracking and we anticipate that number to increase to 92 100 range over the next few days.”

Norovirus is often associated with cruise ships. Emminger says almost all of the sickened OSU students live in dorms and that close proximity enables the virus to spread.

Emminger: “Oh my Gosh, it is very easy to transmit. Norovirus is very, very infectious so it only takes a very few particles to cause illness.”

Norovirus causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and high fever. Health officials urge anyone with these symptoms to see a doctor and avoid contact with others. Emminger says hand sanitizer does not kill the virus—only vigorous hand washing with soap will do it.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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