Created on Tuesday, 09 December 2008 10:14

Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391

Norovirus Blamed for Butler Illnesses

Laboratory testing results from the Indiana State Department of Health indicate a norovirus of undetermined origin likely caused an illness outbreak involving more than 200 Butler University students, faculty and staff.

“This appears to be a viral illness that had been spreading before the Thanksgiving holiday, but increased and gained more attention once everyone was back in class last week,” said Dr. Virginia A. Caine, director, Marion County Health Department.

The Butler University Health Center began receiving complaints of illness December 3. The university contacted the Marion County Health Department, which took stool and food samples. Individuals indicated to health department officials that they had experienced symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever beginning in late November. Symptoms generally lasted 12-14 hours.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the “stomach flu,” or gastroenteritis in people. The term norovirus was recently approved as the official name for this group of viruses.