Gastrointestinal Illness Outbreaks

Posted March 2, 2023

Since Friday, February 24, University Health Services has seen an increased number of undergraduate students experiencing acute gastroenteritis, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. While the source of the illness on campus cannot be determined with certainty given the information available at this time, it appears to be a virus and there is no indication that the outbreak originated within campus dining facilities. 

The increase in cases of GI illness on campus appears to be in keeping with the uptick of cases nationally. GI illness is very contagious, spreading quickly among infected people via close contact or as a result of touching infected surfaces. 

The University is taking precautions to help limit the spread of illness on campus, including using enhanced cleaning protocols in high touchpoint areas, such as doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, residential dormitories and dining venues.


We urge all community members to take steps to prevent the further spread of illness:

  • Wash your hands frequently and carefully with soap and warm water, and always after using the bathroom. Hand sanitizer may be used as an interim measure for hand hygiene, but washing with soap and warm water is the most effective method to remove microbes that can cause these GI illnesses.
  • Avoid sharing beverage bottles, food, and eating utensils and containers.


If you are ill:

  • Increase your intake of fluids, such as water, tea, sports drinks and soup broth, to prevent dehydration. While the illness is short lived (24-48 hours), dehydration is the biggest concern.  
  • Students in need of medical attention should contact University Health Services at 609-258-3141 or visit McCosh Health Center.
  • Ill employees should stay home and contact their personal physicians for medical assistance. 
  • Refrain from close contact with others until symptoms have subsided, or as advised by medical staff.
  • Do not handle or prepare food for others while experiencing symptoms and for two to three days after symptoms subside.
  • Clean and disinfect soiled surfaces with bleach-based cleaning products. For best results, allow the disinfectant at least two minutes contact time.
  • Clean all soiled clothes and linen. Soiled linen should be washed and dried in the hottest temperature recommended by the linen manufacturer.

For more information, please contact University Health Services at [email protected]