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Virus Outbreak at USC Sends 30 Students to Hospital

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A virus that USC campus oficials believe is a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus has recenlty sent at least 30 students to the medical facilities, according to an e-mail alert sent to students. "This virus is not usually serious, but can cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach-cramping," wrote Larwrence Neinstein, M.D., of the University Park Health Center. "The sickness usually has an incubation period of 24- to 48 hours, but may be as short as 12 hours." The school is not recommending a "full-scale quarantine," but encourages anyone feeling a little sick to stay home and take care of themselves, especially in light of today's football game. "We would rather you watch it on television than chance infecting your fellow students," Neinstein said.

Textof E-mail Sent to Student on Friday, October 3rd, 2008 @ 11:44 p.m.


October 4, 2008 Campus Notification: Contagious Gastrointestinal Virus

At least 30 USC students living in or near the University Park Campus have been transported in the last day to medical facilities exhibiting symptoms of a contagious, but self-limiting, virus.

The sickness is suspected to be a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus. This virus is not usually serious, but can cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach-cramping. The sickness usually has an incubation period of 24- to 48 hours, but may be as short as 12 hours.

In most people, the illness is self-limiting, usually lasting one- to two days. Although we are not recommending a full-scale quarantine, those students who feel sick, are vomiting, and cannot hold foods and liquids down are asked to report to the USC University Park Student Health Center, which is open Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Monday and Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The facility is also open Wednesday through Friday.

Those who need advice or are feeling especially sick or concerned should notify a Resident Assistant, the Department of Public Safety, or other USC official offices. Students can also call the USC Health Center advice nurse 24 hours a day at: 213-740-9355.

Otherwise, students who do not feel well are asked stay at home, take plenty of fluids, and not socialize until they are feeling better. This is especially important considering Saturday's football game: we would rather you watch it on television than chance infecting your fellow students.

The suspected virus can be contagious for several days after a person recovers; therefore we asking everyone to please frequently wash your hands, especially after eating, preparing food, or using the restroom.

Thank you for your assistance.

Larwrence Neinstein, M.D.
Professor, Pediatrics and Medicine,
Executive Director, University Park Health Center