If you somehow haven’t heard by now, there’s a bug going around WPI. The highly contagious norovirus has been making its rounds, leaving a path of sick students (and sometimes vomit) in its wake. Below you’ll find some interesting tidbits about the illness, how to avoid contracting it and how to get over it more quickly should you catch it anyways.
1. The norovirus most commonly originates from lettuce and undercooked shellfish. However, getting the virus from food is relatively uncommon, as it’s much more easily spread person-to-person. This means you can’t use the norovirus as an excuse to never eat salad at DAKA.
2. It used to be called “Snow Mountain Virus.” This name was long ago replaced, probably because the illness has exactly nothing to do with snow or mountains, as should be made obvious by the fact that it’s rapidly spreading around WPI, where we currently have neither snow nor mountains.
3. Typically, symptoms arise only after the infected person has had the virus for 24-48 hours and it remains contagious up to three days after the person feels recovered. In short, you should act suspicious that everyone around you is highly contagious even if they don’t seem sick. Not really, but you get the idea.
4. If you do happen to get sick, your body will begin running low on fluids quickly. This means that you should try your best to stay hydrated- whenever you feel like you can keep it down, down some fluids. And by fluids, I do not mean beer. I’d recommend trying water or Ginger Ale instead
5. The norovirus is not the stomach flu. In fact, it isn’t related to the flu at all, and is actually more closely related to a virus that causes respiratory illnesses in cats than it is influenza. Strangely enough, I’m not making that up.
6. WASH YOUR HANDS. This should honestly go without saying. You get the virus when it enters your mouth. Do you know where the virus on your hands comes from that would be entering your mouth? Other people’s vomit/fecal matter. That is absolutely disgusting and I don’t know what else I can say to convince you that hand washing is a good strategy.
7. Since the virus enters through your mouth, you should avoid sharing drinks and food with anyone who is infected. This is another one of those things that shouldn’t have to be said, but it bears mentioning.
8. The virus can live on the surface of whatever the ill person touches. This means that, while dousing your infected roommate’s belongings with Lysol is likely to make him hate you, it might in your best health interests.
9. A nasal vaccine is in the process of being created. By next year, the norovirus may be no more. Just think, one more vaccine that you’ll be required to get before WPI lets you live on campus.
10. On the bright side, getting the norovirus gives you as much of an excuse as you’ll ever have to buy a plush virus off the internet. Come on, you know you’ve always wanted one.