400 cadets at the Air Force Academy have had symptoms of Norovirus since October

Published: Nov. 20, 2019 at 3:08 PM MST
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Four hundred cadets at the United States Air Force Academy have had symptoms consistent with Norovirus since October, a spokesperson for the AFA has confirmed with 11 News.

The academy has not declared an outbreak at this time.

11 News has a call into the El Paso County Public Health Department to see if other parts of the county are seeing an increase in Norovirus or flu cases.

11 News reached out to Peterson Air Force Base asking for information about cases there following multiple calls into our newsroom. A representative for Peterson said that they have a number of reported sicknesses, but they don't feel there is a need to send out an alert.

The academy sent the following information to 11 News Wednesday afternoon:

"Approximately 400 cadets have had symptoms consistent with Norovirus, commonly known as "stomach flu” since these cases began to surface in the cadet wing in late October. To combat norovirus, increased cleaning is being conducted in common areas with agents that are certified to eliminate the virus. Areas that were cleaned once or twice daily are now being cleaned at least three times daily. Cadets have been encouraged to practice good hygiene, including vigorous handwashing with soap and water for 20-30 seconds. Infected cadets have been placed on bed rest for at least 72 hours after their symptoms resolve and they are cleared for duty by qualified medical personnel. Out of an abundance of caution, several large gathering-type events have been rescheduled. Our cadets and support staff are our main concern. We have acted quickly with all the appropriate intervention steps, in cooperation with our medical group team, our cadre and leadership at all levels, and the cadet wing leadership to help stop the spread. Norovirus is very contagious and causes vomiting and/or diarrhea in those infected. The primary means of cure are rest and consumption of plenty of fluids, since the biggest danger to those with norovirus is dehydration. The 10th Medical Group has been in coordination with Peterson Air Force Base, Fort Carson, El Paso County Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to provide updates on infection numbers and measures taken to mitigate the spread of norovirus."