Norovirus confirmed at Hamilton College; more than 50 students sickened

CLINTON, NY – More than 50 students have been sickened by norovirus at Hamilton College in Oneida County, according to college officials.

The college has confirmed the presence of norovirus after sending samples into a lab for testing, officials said.

Norovirus causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. A person can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

The best prevention is washing hands, the CDC says.

An increasing number of students were experiencing intestinal sickness and other symptoms as of Monday night, prompting the college to have the samples tested, officials said.

The college is taking steps to control the spread of the highly contagious virus by disinfecting bathrooms and common areas, and providing disinfectant wipes for students and staff to use on doorknobs, keyboards and other surfaces, the college said.

The college’s two dining halls, diner, and on-campus pub are being closed on a rotating basis to allow for special cleaning, officials said.

The concentrated cleaning of all public spaces is taking place tonight and early Thursday.

Students who are sick should not attend classes and should wait two days after symptoms disappear before coming to class, said Jeff Landry, associate dean of students for health and safety. Employees who are sick should not report to work, official said.