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The Daily Tar Heel

Campus Health investigating spike in vomiting, diarrhea cases

More than 30 students have been to Campus Health Services today with symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in an outbreak that UNC officials are still trying to pinpoint.

Mary Covington, executive director for Campus Health, said the UNC Hospitals emergency room reported several student cases this morning, and students have been coming to Campus Health throughout the day to receive fluids.

“Everybody has been responding nicely and doing well,” she said.

UNC has been working closely with the Orange County Health Department to find the cause of the outbreak. Covington said they have sent samples to a state laboratory for testing, and results could come in as soon as tomorrow.

Mike Freeman, director of Auxiliary Services, said they won’t know until the tests come in whether the outbreak is a virus or food poisoning.

He said that until they know for sure, Carolina Dining Services is on alert.

Mary Beth Koza, the director of the Department of Environment, Health and Safety, said housekeepers and staff have been alerted.

Alert Carolina sent out an informational message, and Covington recommended washing hands frequently as a possible prevention.

“When there’s an increase of illness like this in communities you need to be careful washing your hands with soap and water,” she said. “Hand sanitizers might not be effective against all organisms that cause this outbreak.”

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