As you may have heard earlier this afternoon, the Maryland vs. Navy lacrosse game that was scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed due to an outbreak of the Norovirus among the Midshipmen men’s lacrosse team. Here is more information from the Navy press release about the news.
In upwards of 30 men’s lacrosse players and staff members have contracted the symptoms consistent with Norovirus since arriving back in Annapolis following their game at Richmond on Tuesday evening.
Out of an abundance of caution and for the sake of public health, the medical staffs at both the Naval Academy and the University of Maryland have determined that Saturday’s men’s lacrosse game should be postponed to prevent the spread of this highly-infectious illness both among the team and Maryland as the host institution.
Bill Wagner of the Capital Gazette has been all over this story and I highly encourage you to check out his article about the situation and his Twitter feed for more information.
We have been tracking this story since yesterday morning and now things are official. Saturday's Navy at Maryland men's lacrosse game has been postponed due to an outbreak of the Norovirus at the Naval Academy. I will have a story posted very shortly.— Bill Wagner (@BWagner_CapGaz) February 21, 2020
As an initial matter it is important to note that so far this issue has only affected the men’s lacrosse team at Navy and that no other team at Annapolis has reported similar problems with regards to the outbreak. Additionally, as of right now, no make-up date has been announced. Bill Wagner has reported that there is a possibility that this game will not be rescheduled if the two schools are unable to agree on a date to play the game.
Obviously, the health and well-being of the Navy players and staff is paramount and I am sure I can speak for everyone here at College Crosse when I say we hope that everyone associated with the team who is suffering from the virus has a speedy recovery. Moreover, it is important understand that Norovirus is very different from the Coronavirus outbreak that started in China and has now spread throughout the world.
So what is Norovirus? According to the CDC, Norovirus is a “very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea” and afflicts people of all ages. Additionally, the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health estimates that the highly contagious stomach bug costs more than $64B a year, mostly through the loss of productivity. Here is some more information from a 2016 JHU School of Public Health article about the virus.
Norovirus is an easily transmissible virus that can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. While it is most often discussed in relation to outbreaks, less than one percent of cases are associated with outbreaks. The researchers say that norovirus is not routinely tested for and the number of cases may be an underestimate. There is not yet a vaccine or a treatment for norovirus.
That does not sound pleasant. Because there is no vaccine or specific treatment for Norovirus, it is imperative that people who are suffering from the stomach bug drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, which can lead to more serious problems. Here’s more information from the Mayo Clinic.
There’s no specific treatment for norovirus infection, and recovery generally depends on the health of your immune system. In most people, the illness usually resolves within a few days.
It’s important to replace lost fluids. Oral rehydration solutions may be used. If you’re unable to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration, you might need to receive fluids through a vein.
Hopefully everyone at Navy who caught the virus recovers quickly and we get to see the Midshipmen men’s lacrosse team back on the field soon.