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UNC Nausea Outbreak Linked To Norovirus, Limited To Students

By Ran Northam Posted March 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm

CHAPEL HILL – Results are in for the cause of the outbreak of nausea on UNC’s campus late last week that affected more than 80 students.

“Of the five samples we sent in, three of them did come back positive for norovirus,” Orange County Health Department’s Public Information Officer Stacy Shelp says.

Norovirus is fecal-based but can be transferred through touch as well as food. Shelp says symptoms are often like those of the flu.

“It does call gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, etc.,” Shelp says.

And despite investigation into the source of the cause, Shelp says they were not able to find it.

“We worked very closely with campus Health Services on UNC’s campus and surveyed the students who had come in with the illness,” Shelp says. “Out of the 85 that we surveyed, 50 responded, and we did not have a single source, no single meal or venue that indicated as being the likely source of the exposures.”

She says the patients were limited to college students. It affected 85 people that they know of, but luckily only lasted about 24 hours.

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