Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Denver health officials try to track path of stomach virus

Denver health department officials sent a questionnaire to all University of Denver students this week to try to determine the origin of a campus outbreak of Norovirus. Since April 13, a total of 105 of DU’s more than 11,000 students have reported ill with stomach cramps, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Dr. Sam Alexander, executive director of DU’s Health and Counseling Center (HCC), encourages students to fill out the questionnaire in order to help public health officials track how the virus came onto campus. The questionnaire probes ill and healthy students’ movements and behavior during the outbreak to both identify and eliminate paths the virus may have taken.

“There are no guarantees that we’ll find out where it started, but Denver health officials are searching hard,” says Alexander.

The Denver health department has confirmed the cause of the illness as a Norovirus and has declared the DU campus a safe place to live, work, study and eat. The number of reported cases has decreased since the outbreak began April 13.

Health officials continue to encourage students, faculty and staff to wash their hands regularly to contain the spread of the virus. Denver health and HCC staff have posted flyers throughout campus with information on the virus and tips on how to avoid spreading it.

Alexander advises students, faculty and staff to call their building supervisor to clean up after ill persons. DU custodians continue to deep clean common areas in DU buildings, and sanitizing wipes are available at all residence halls.

Ill students should contact HCC at 303-871-2205 or visit the center’s Web site for more information. After hours, callCampus Safety at 303-871-3000.

Read other stories about the student illnesses:
Health officials continue to monitor stomach virus
Officials declare DU campus safe, identify stomach virus
DU still looking for cause of student illnesses
Officials investigating cause of student illnesses

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