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  • Everything you need to know about norovirus, the illness afflicting Boston College students - 12/10/2015

    We asked Thomas Webster, a professor at Northeastern University, to educate us on all things norovirus: what it is, how it’s spread, and what we can do to combat it.

    How common is it to get norovirus, and how worried should we be?

    I think it’s pretty common. There’s not many deaths [from it], fortunately. Though it disrupts your life, it really only results in death if you are really young or really old. And many of the deaths that result from norovirus are due to dehydration issues.

    Where does it come from?

    It can come from raw foods, like shellfish and sushi. It’s really just like any other virus that’s constantly around. It’s just when we get into close contact with it that it becomes a problem and we spread it.

    How is it spread?

    The primary way it’s spread is by touching surfaces and airborne. Airborne is the biggest problem. Viruses can travel a long distance in the air. A lot of people are very conscious of touching surfaces. But (when it’s) airborne, you have no idea. You just don’t know if you are riding the train and someone next to you is exposed and they don’t show symptoms yet and then they cough or sneeze.


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