UNC Campus Health believe Norovirus outbreak 'contained'

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WTVD) -- UNC Campus Health officials have confirmed one case of Norovirus after a female student tested positive for the virus. This student was part of a sorority, where per Campus Health officials, ''approximately 30 or so' other students displayed symptoms; which include nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

"That's what we anticipated we would find based upon the clinical presentation," said Director of Campus Health Services, Ken Pittman.

As of Friday morning, no additional cases of Norovirus were confirmed on campus. "We believe that there is a chance we have done some containment," said Pittman. "But we won't obviously know that for several days."

In response to the Norovirus, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life postponed all Rush Week activities until further notice. Campus Health officials have been in constant contact with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life to ensure student safety. "We have to be very diligent. That's why you see us acting so quickly," Pittman said.

READ MORE: UNC treats 'number of students' with norovirus-like symptoms

Undeclared sophomore, Parrish Finn, does not know anyone displaying symptoms, but hopes other students take note of the precautions in place. "Just stay home and don't push yourself to go to class," said Finn. "Health is more important than academics believe it or not."

The outbreak also has sophomore student, Samantha Yancey, on alert. Her roommmate is rushing a sorority, but will have to put her plans on hold until activities resume. "She's a little weirded out that she had to put it on pause," Yancey told ABC11. "I just hope that it's nothing too concerning and that everyone stays healthy and it doesn't spread too fast."

Campus Health officials sent a message to students alerting them of the Norovirus that reads in part:

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 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.
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