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Possible norovirus being investigated at LIU Post, health officials say

The Nassau County Health Department received three inquiries, a spokeswoman said Saturday. How many people might be affected and the cause of any illness have yet to be determined.

An LIU Post spokesman said the university had

An LIU Post spokesman said the university had learned some students were hit with "flu-like" symptoms and was advising them to get flu shots and take standard precautions. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A possible norovirus outbreak at LIU Post in Brookville is being investigated by Nassau health inspectors who received three inquiries, an official said Saturday.

How many people might be affected and what might have caused any illness have yet to be determined, Mary Ellen J. Laurain, a spokeswoman for the county health department, said by telephone.

“At this point, we don’t have any numbers; we just have complaints,” she said, referring to the three individuals who late Friday expressed their concerns to the health department.

“This takes a thorough investigation,” she said.

Gordon Tepper, an LIU Post spokesman, said the university had learned some students were hit with “flu-like” symptoms, and as always, was advising them to get flu shots and take standard precautions, including washing their hands and not sharing utensils.

“As a precaution, the University has implemented protocols for enhanced sanitizing of high-trafficked areas, including residence halls, athletic facilities, student gathering spaces, restrooms, and all dining locations,” he said in a statement.

Saying the university’s health and welfare were of paramount importance, he added: “We will continue taking all necessary measures to minimize the spread of germs as the flu season progresses.”

Norovirus can cause flu-like symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Outbreaks typically occur where people are clustered, one reason this is called the cruise ship virus.  

Norovirus can be spread by sharing spoons, for example, touching infected surfaces with a hand and then reaching to one’s mouth, or drinking or eating infected items, according to a New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene fact sheet.

Thoroughly washing hands and using bleach to cleanse any surfaces contaminated by human waste are among the best defenses, it said.

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