Dear members of the campus community:

It’s flu season!

Over the past several days, we have seen an increase in the number of students who have become ill with fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These infections are caused by an extremely contagious stomach virus which can quickly spread from person to person especially in crowded places such as dormitories and classrooms.  People become infected by touching surfaces that have the virus, having direct contact with an infected person, or consuming food or beverages contaminated with the virus.

There is no specific treatment for the virus. Most people feel better in a day or two. The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink enough liquid to replace fluid losses; in some cases it may be necessary to replace fluids intravenously and take medication to alleviate the nausea.

Facilities Operations will ensure high standards of cleaning with germicides and disinfectants which are effective in killing the virus that can live on surfaces for several hours. We encourage students and staff to use bleach and disposable germicidal wipes to clean personal areas including counters, door knobs, keyboards, bathrooms, and other spaces that can harbor germs.

There is also significant influenza activity on campus.

Here are some tips to stop the spread of the stomach virus and other contagious viruses such as influenza:

  1. If you experience symptoms of the stomach virus or flu do not attend class, meetings or social events. Student- Athletes should not participate in practice.
  2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol based sanitizer.
  3. Students are encouraged not to use College dining facilities when they are ill-Dining Services will offer “Buddy Meals” as an option for pick up by friends. Find a “flu buddy” if you need assistance getting food or medicine. Grab-n-go meals are available at Gilbert’s, Skillman, or Lower Farinon – see Buddy Meals.
  4. Do not prepare food for others while experiencing symptoms and for three days after recovery since ill individuals can still shed the virus for several days after symptoms have resolved.
  5. After recovery from an illness such as flu or a stomach virus, wash your clothing and linens thoroughly and avoid contaminating surfaces with items that have been soiled.

Although the volume of sick students is not as high as it has been with similar outbreaks in the past, we expect to see heightened activity of these viruses in the coming weeks. Please do your best to take proper precautions to limit the spread of these contagious viruses.


Jeff Goldstein, MD
Director of Health Services