By Jim Melwert and Robin Rieger
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (CBS) - Dozens of students at Rider University were hospitalized Wednesday night and four were taken to the hospital on Thursday, suffering from a gastrointestinal illness.
Rider University says they suspect a norovirus outbreak which recently broke out on some cruise ships.
Four students were taken to the hospital Thursday. Over a dozen others were treated at the student health center in the morning according to school spokesman Dan Higgins.
Rider says local health authorities and EMT’s worked throughout Wednesday night to find students in residence halls who may have had symptoms.
Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea, throwing up, nausea and stomach cramping. The school says it’s not usually considered serious, but is very contagious, transmitted by food or drink or by contaminated surfaces.
A spokesman with Rider says the school is taking any steps they can to contain the virus, including sanitizing university buildings and dorms. Classes were scheduled as normal.
The school issued a statement on its’ website. READ IT HERE
Many Rider University students are expressing apprehension heading back and forth to class.
“It’s kind of scary that so many people are getting sick,” said Angelina Franco, a Rider University senior and class president.
Freshman Dante Taylor says his friend is sick. “We hope we dont get sick,” he said.
Rider University officials say an outbreak also started a week ago and continues at Princeton University.
According to a spokesperson for Princeton, there are 100 cases of illness suspected to have been caused by norovirus. They started testing when students started coming back January 29th.
When many came back with norovirus, they stopped testing and started to alert the campus about the illness and how to try and prevent it with hand washing, hand sanitizer, not sharing any food and using utensils.