Students Urged to be Aware of Spreading Stomach-related Illness

Over the past few days, a few dozen students have reported becoming ill with symptoms including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea during visits to Campus Health Services.  Campus Health Services is working very closely with the Orange County Health Department to identify the cause of these illnesses which, based on one confirmed case, is most likely Norovirus.

Following standard public health procedures, Campus Health Services is monitoring the situation in coordination with several key University units including Environment Health and Safety and Student Affairs. We are also providing information about gastroenteritis on the Campus Health Services website.

Students with questions should contact Campus Health Services at (919) 966-6573 to speak directly with a registered nurse.

In the meantime, campus and local health officials encourage students, faculty and staff to be aware of the situation and to take the following steps to prevent illness:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and warm running water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food.
  • Alcohol-based sanitizers may not always be effective.

If you are sick or are around others who are sick:

  • Do not go to school or work or and stay in your residence hall or at home if at all possible.
  • Wash and rinse fruits and vegetables carefully before eating them.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness. First spray the area with a bleach-based disinfectant or diluted household bleach; then clean with the disinfectant wearing disposable gloves. Diluted bleach should be mixed with a 1:10 ratio of water and mixed daily.
  • Cleanup waste should be placed in a plastic bag that should be tied and placed in the trash receptacle.
  • Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens in hot water and detergent. They may be contaminated after an episode of illness.
  • Flush or discard any vomit and/or stool in the toilet and make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean and disinfected.
  • If you are ill, prevent dehydration by frequently sipping a non-alcoholic beverage.

Thanks for your help in keeping the Carolina campus healthy.  We will continue to provide updates about this situation as needed.