Stanford University has suffered a norovirus outbreak over the last two weeks. (Photo used by permission of Wikimedia Commons via Creative Commons license)

SCDS alumnus at Stanford ‘on high alert’ due to norovirus

In the past two weeks, the norovirus has spread at Stanford University, altering the routines of some SCDS alumni.

Around 52 students caught the virus, and Stanford is still trying to determine the source of the outbreak, according to Stanford News.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), norovirus causes vomiting and diarrhea and is very contagious for people of all ages.

Symptoms also include nausea, stomach pain, fever, headache and body aches. The disease is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water, or touching contaminated surfaces and then putting unwashed hands in one’s mouth, according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends washing hands thoroughly and, if infected, drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. There is no vaccine for the virus. Recovery can take one to three days.

Jack Christian, ’19, was the closest to the virus since people in his dorm caught the illness.

“Three people in my dorm, Donner, were (infected),” Christian said. “I was on high alert — constantly washing my hands and not touching anything in the common rooms because of how contagious (the norovirus) is.” 

Christian’s dining hall was also infected.

“Our entire dining hall in Stern was affected since so many of the people in (the Stern dorm) caught the virus,” he said.

Mehdi Lacombe, ’19, said the outbreak “didn’t affect” his dorm; however, it did impact the hall where he usually ate lunch.

“I had to change my lunch location for a while just to be safe,” Lacombe said. “We also got a few emails from our peer health educators asking us to report any symptoms, but overall I just washed my hands more for a while.”

Mehdi Lacombe, ’19, received this email from a peer health educator — essentially a resident assistant (RA) for physical and emotional health, according to Lacombe — about the norovirus outbreak at Stanford University. (Photo courtesy of Lacombe)

Allison Zhang, ’19, lives on the other side of the campus, so the virus “didn’t really affect” her, she said.

—By Arikta Trivedi

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