Reported Cases of Gastroenteritis ("stomach flu") Virus and Precautions

To: UCSC Student Community

From: Associate Vice Chancellor Jean Marie Scott, Student Affairs

I write out of concern for your well being and to advise you that there have been several cases of gastroenteritis ("stomach flu") illness reported on campus during this past week. I hope to enlist your assistance in following good hygiene strategies aimed at minimizing any possible spread of this illness. Per instructions from Environmental Health and Safety officials, I am also asking those who experience any symptoms to report this to the Campus Health Center, and to fill out the County Health Department Survey (see link below).

The cause is not completely known at this time. Health Center Staff and campus Environmental Health and Safety officials are implementing the standard protocols and working with the County Health Department to identify any possible common cause.

The symptoms of illness usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. The illness is usually brief, with symptoms lasting only about 1 or 2 days. Viruses can live outside of the body and can be passed by touching objects/surfaces/utensils that have been infected by someone who was ill. Such viruses are not life threatening, but can cause significant gastrointestinal issues (vomiting and diarrhea) and dehydration if the person is unable to drink enough liquids to replace liquids lost.

For the duration of the holiday weekend, students needing medical assistance should go to the urgent care facility at the corner of Mission and Laurel, or to the Emergency Room at Dominican Hospital.

Out of concern for our entire community, it is critical that all of us be persistent with washing hands with soap frequently throughout the day and especially after being in the bathroom. It is also wise to refrain from sharing food and beverage containers with another person. In addition, when eating in the campus Dining Halls, be sure to wash your hands prior to entering the dining hall, use the tongs and scoops when getting food from the self-service areas, and do not touch food directly.

Other general tips on maintaining health and stopping the spread of germs, may be found at the following link to the Centers for Disease Control:

It is also important that the campus be informed of any students who may become ill. On-campus students are urged to report any illness of this type to a member of the residence life staff (RA or CRE). Off-campus students and staff should report their illness to the Campus Health Center. Anyone experiencing the above mentioned symptoms is asked to fill out the County Health Department Survey at the following link:

I appreciate your assistance in following these guidelines in order to help maintain the health of our campus community. For questions, please feel free to contact the Campus Health Center, Environmental Health and Safety or the County Health Department.