After students began expressing concern that there had been a norovirus outbreak earlier this week, University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald confirmed that University Health Services diagnosed 14 students with gastrointestinal illness –– not norovirus –– saying there was “no concentration that would indicate any sort of outbreak.”

According to Nursing freshman Sam Linde, however, several students on her floor in Mary Markley Residence Hall have experienced extended periods of vomiting.

“I think there’s about 60 girls on the floor, and as far as I know, about seven have come down what we think is norovirus, or at least the symptoms of norovirus,” Linde said. “We all live really close together, and we’re together all the time.”

Fitzgerald said in an interview on Thursday, since Tuesday, a few more students have come into UHS with similar symptoms.

“I think there’s about a total of 16 or 17 students who have been seen at the UHS now,” he said. “We’re certainly not aware of any large concentration of students who have gotten sick.”

Linde said of the people on her floor who have been sick, the only ones who have gone to UHS have gone to get a note excusing them from class.

LSA freshman Haya Akbik, who lives on the same floor as Linde, believes the illness originated in a fraternity house recently. This past week, students have heard rumors of individuals in the Chi Phi fraternity having experienced many of the symptoms commonly associated with norovirus, though the Daily was unable to confirm these conjectures as of Thursday afternoon.

“It started off with one girl, because I guess one of the frats on campus had it, and then her sorority mixed with them on Saturday so she got it,” Akbik said. “Then she gave it to her roommate, and some girls in our hall got it, and last night a girl in our hall slept in my room because her roommate had it and was puking all night, and then my friend on the other side of Markley has it.”

Though neither Akbik nor Linde have heard anything about it from the University, their residential adviser canceled a hall-wide event, presumably due to the illness.

“We had an event that was planned and then they emailed us saying it was canceled because a lot of people were sick, and to just hydrate and sanitize,” Akbik said.

In an email to South Quad Residence Hall employees Tuesday, it was announced that the residence hall would be adopting “expanded protocols to prevent the spread of illness.” The email also noted that measures were precautionary, and asked employees to complete a survey asking whether they had been experiencing any symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting or jaundice.

UHS and a coordinator for University Housing could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *