Norovirus, the highly contagious gastrointestinal virus that has plagued USC students and residence halls over the past two weeks appears to be slowing, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Across the USC campus, there have been 103 reported incidents of norovirus amongst students, primarily from those living in traditional on-campus dorms, since Oct. 26, according to the DPH. However, there has been a decline in reported cases since Thursday.
Originating in the North Residential College which houses freshman, the quick-moving virus spread to other residence halls across campus before infecting those living in off-campus fraternity and sorority housing.
"It was absolutely awful. My roommate had it, then I got it…it seems like everyone I know has gotten sick," said Nicolette Friedman, a freshman who fell ill with the norovirus last Wednesday.
The virus, transmitted through contact with the residue of infected stool or vomit, results in intense nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains for 1-3 days before the illness subsides, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Since it is a viral infection, there are no antibiotics or medicine to combat the sickness.
The Engemann Student Health Center advised students in an email Oct. 31 to wash their hands frequently, stay hydrated, to stop sharing food and drinks, and to stay home if sick in order to stop the spread of the virus. USC students say the preventative measures are visible on campus.
"I think USC has done a lot to try and stop it from spreading," said sophomore Tia Dalupan. "You can't serve yourself at the dining halls anymore, the staff are all wearing gloves and you have to use hand sanitizer before you enter."
While the virus' effects continue to be felt by students, the student health center says they are hoping their efforts and increased student awareness will eliminate the virus on campus soon.