Freshman Blog: An experience with the norovirus

By Allison DeLucia

The norovirus was a surprising outbreak, which changed my view of Rider completely. Like any other day, I went to Daly’s, where I pride myself in eating healthy. I’m also proud of routinely exercising. I was almost finished eating my whole wheat wrap with grilled chicken and suddenly noticed the chicken was bright pink in the middle. I was so worried because I had heard about food poisoning and how horrible it can be, but nothing compared to this.

A few hours later, my world was spinning twice as fast. I nearly collapsed multiple times, I couldn’t walk, I had a slight fever and I was shaking uncontrollably. As if that wasn’t enough, I also threw up everything in my body. My friends were taking care of me and they had to call an ambulance. I was too weak to even stand. No one knew what to do for me.

I was rushed to the hospital with 39 other people and I was left feeling terrified. My nurse had to keep a close watch on me until 6:30 a.m. In order to regain my strength, I had to be given three bags of fluid in an IV, sleep and drink tons of Gatorade. My nurse told me that I could have died from being as dehydrated as I was.

After getting several tests done, my diagnosis was food poisoning but it was also a viral infection. The norovirus can be transmitted when food is handled poorly and is extremely contagious.

Overall, I believe Rider is doing the right thing now, by sanitizing all the facilities and eliminating self-serve in Dalys. The experience showed me how blessed I am to have so many people who genuinely love and care about me, and how fragile life actually is. I would never wish what happened to me on onto anyone else in the world and it’s terrible that so many other people had gotten sick. You should always practice good hygiene and be careful because you really never know what tomorrow brings.

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