After last week’s norovirus outbreak affected at least 30 players and support staff at the Naval Academy, causing Saturday’s Navy at Maryland game to be postponed indefinitely, practices and team meetings resumed Monday.
“The measures taken last week to isolate those midshipmen infected, rapidly sterilize locker and training rooms, and cancel any team congregation such as practice and meetings, have been very effective in containing the spread,” Naval Academy spokeswoman Cmder. Alana Garas said.
Quarantine rooms in Bancroft Hall did not need to be used, and the virus did not spread beyond the team, Garas said.
The academy started working with the county and state health departments as soon as the first midshipmen were diagnosed with the disease at Anne Arundel Medical Center last week, Garas said. The county and state health departments are investigating the source of the outbreak.
There are no other gastroenteritis outbreaks in Annapolis, county health department spokeswoman Elin Jones said.
Norovirus is a common cause of gastroenteritis, known as the stomach flu, according to the Maryland Department of Health.
The Evening Sun Newsletter
Get your evening news in your e-mail inbox. Get all the top news and sports from the baltimoresun.com.
Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, low fever, headache, muscle aches, chills and tiredness. Symptoms usually begin suddenly 12 to 48 hours after exposure and usually last 24 to 48 hours and go away without treatment, according to the department.
People infected with norovirus are contagious from the moment they start feeling sick to at least three days after recovery, according to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health. Some people may be contagious for as long as two weeks after recovery, the department said.
The infection is common, according to the state health department, and is often seen in the winter in schools and child care settings and in nursing homes.
There is no antiviral medication that works against norovirus and there is no vaccine to prevent infection. norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because antibiotics work to fight bacteria, not viruses, according to the county health department.
Norovirus ranks as the no. 1 cause of foodborne illness and no. 4 cause of foodborne deaths in a recent report from the World Health Organization estimating the global burden of foodborne diseases.
Norovirus causes an average of 570 to 800 deaths, 56,000–71,000 hospitalizations, 400,000 emergency department visits, 1.7–1.9 million outpatient visits, and 19–21 million total illnesses per year according to a 2013 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.