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According to the latest email sent by the university to the Rider community shortly after 1 p.m., “Rider continues to receive reports on both campuses of students and some employees experiencing symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness, likely to be caused by a norovirus.”
The email goes on to reiterate many points of the first email, including the symptoms of a norovirus, how a norovirus is transmitted and how to avoid contracting a norovirus. In addition, the email states that the university “is monitoring the situation closely and continues to update the University community as additional information becomes available.”
Students from both the Lawrenceville and WCC campuses are being treated by Student Health Services and are being transported to hospitals in the area when necessary. “Most have been treated and returned to campus within hours,” according to the email.
At 3:17 a.m. Rider University informed the community through email that a suspected outbreak of norovirus was affecting students.
“Late last evening, Wednesday, February 8, Rider received reports of students experiencing symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness,” according to the email sent to the Rider community. “Approximately 40 students were transported last night to area hospitals for treatment. Residence Life and Public Safety staff worked with local health authorities and EMTs throughout the night to identify ill students in the residence halls and treat them either on site or send them to area hospitals, with whom we are continuing to work. Some of these students have already been discharged from the hospital and returned to campus.”
A norovirus, or stomach virus, which is suspected to be causing these symptoms, began about a week ago at Princeton University, according to the email. The symptoms of norovirus include stomach cramping, diarrhea and vommiting, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The virus is generally not too serious, and people usually get better in a day or two.
“Aramark, our food service, and UNICCO, our custodial service, are taking the necessary precautions, particularly cleaning all residence hall bathrooms and other areas,” the email said. “The Switlik main entrance is currently being used as the first point of contact for ill students. As of the morning, Conover lounge will be used for this purpose going forward. It will also serve as a temporary infirmary staffed by Health Center personnel.”
The virus can be spread through food and liquids contaminated with the virus, touching contaminated surfaces or objects and having directed contact with an infected person. The University advises students to wash hands often and to refrain from sharing food or drink. Neither classes nor events have been cancelled.
Be sure to check in with The Rider News for more updates as the story progresses.