We have all heard it. The conversation that starts with “I was sick last night” and leads to a mass exodus of humans within five feet of the contagion in question. Alright, maybe that’s just my reaction, but we all need to start caring about a little thing called hygiene. So, fellow campus dwellers, let’s talk about the dreaded Norovirus.
The Norovirus is an intense stomach flu with symptoms such as excessive nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and body aches. The virus is extremely contagious and can live on surfaces for up to two weeks. Additionally, you can contract the illness more than once, so if you already went through that lovely experience, you are not in the clear.
Regardless of whether you are sick or not, everyone should be taking precautions. This is because you may not be showing symptoms of the virus until 12-48 hours after you contracted it, so you could be spreading the illness without even knowing you have it.
If you are already showing symptoms, please for all that is good in the world, STAY IN YOUR ROOM. Clean your bathroom with a bleach solution (5 tablespoons per gallon of water), and wash your hands often with warm, soapy water for at least 30 seconds. If you were sick, wash dirty laundry with the highest setting, and be careful when handling the laundry so avoid contaminating other surfaces.
People in my life think I am crazy for washing my hands before I eat at commons, as well as cleaning the table with Lysol wipes, but how many times have you heard people leave the restroom without washing their hands? I don’t care if you were just fixing your hair or changing your shoes. Wash your dang hands! In a class with computers? Clean the freaking keyboard and mouse, and please, if you’re sick, do not go to class, or to Commons. You are still contagious for two days after symptoms subside. In fact, the virus can still be present in your excrement for up to two weeks AFTER your symptoms stop.
If you don’t feel well, or have been sick, do us all a favor (including yourself) and stay inside. Quarantine yourself. No one will question you. Your professors will not object.
Remember: just keep calm and wash your hands.
Just wash your hands.