Dozens of George Washington University students have reported being sickened this week by an outbreak of the norovirus, school officials said Thursday.
The highly contagious gastrointestinal illness, similar to a stomach flu, has infected about 85 students at the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses, as well as students living off campus.
University officials said they contacted the D.C. Department of Health when a large number of students reported the illness.
The reports began trickling in Monday but the majority of cases seen by the university’s student health service have come in the past 24 hours, according to a statement issued by school officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most people recover from symptoms of the virus within 24 hours.
The most common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. It is often also referred to as the stomach flu or food poisoning. It is passed primarily through close contact with an infected person, including sharing food or drinks with a person infected by the virus and by touching things that have come into contact with the virus.