Norovirus Alert (March 12, 2014)
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has advised the public of recent outbreaks of gastro-intestinal illness in the Boston area that are linked to Norovirus. Due to the highly contagious nature of this illness, it is important to recognize the symptoms when they occur.
What you need to know:
- This is a highly contagious seasonal infection causing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, diarrhea generally lasting a few days only.
- Most people recover in 1 to 2 days although sometimes infected people are unable to drink enough fluid to replace what they are losing from diarrhea and vomiting.
- Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration which sometimes necessitates a visit to the emergency room for treatment with intravenous fluids.
- Dehydration is more likely to occur in very young children, the elderly or those with a weakened immune system.
How to prevent infection:
- The single best way to protect yourself from this virus is to wash your hands after using the bathroom, before preparing food or eating, and before placing your hands near your face or mouth.
- Proper hand washing with soap and water is the preferred method for cleaning your hands.
- According to the Boston Public Health Commission, Alcohol‐based hand sanitizers can be used in addition to hand washing, but are not advised unless soap and water is not available.
Please notify the NEC Health and Counseling Service at 617-585-1284 if you develop any nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, so that we can advise you regarding symptom management and work with the Department of Public Health to track the potential spread of infection. This is particularly important for those students who are living in the residence hall.
Please click on the following links to learn more about Norovirus and Proper Hand washing:
Please do not hesitate to contact the health service with any questions or concerns by calling 617-585-1284.
Influenza (what is referred to as the flu) activity in Boston remains low when compared to previous seasons, but remains a significant health risk. We have encouraged NEC students and other members of the NEC community to get a seasonal influenza vaccine (flu shot) since vaccination remains the single best way to prevent the flu. Flu activity is expected to continue into early April. Vaccines are still available and encouraged, especially for those who are traveling for performances, auditions, or pleasure.
NEC students may call the NEC Health Service and Counseling Service at 617-585-1284 to schedule an appointment for a flu shot, or if they suspect that they have the flu.
Please read more here and click on the highlighted web links for additional flu resources.