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Gastrointestinal Illness Outbreaks

Posted November 15, 2019

Since Sunday, November 10th, University Health Services has seen more than the usual number of students experiencing acute gastroenteritis, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. We are coordinating with the Princeton Health Department to gather and analyze information from those affected. While the source of the illness cannot be determined with certainty given the information available at this time, there is no indication that the outbreak originated within campus dining facilities.

The University is taking precautions to help limit the spread of illness, including using enhanced cleaning protocols in residential dormitories, athletic facilities 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 recommended to remove microbes that can cause these gastroenteritis symptoms.
  • Avoid sharing towels, 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.  
  • Ill students should contact University Health Services at 609-258-3141 or visit McCosh Health Center on Washington Road.
  • 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. Students and others on campus who need assistance with cleaning and disinfecting soiled surfaces may call Building Services at 609-258-8000. Building Services has increased disinfection of frequent touch points, such as doorknobs and restroom fixtures.
  • 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 communityhealth@princeton.edu  


 

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