Student Health Service provides information about norovirus on campus

This message is sent to all Wake Forest students on behalf of the Student Health Service by Wake Forest Communications and External Relations:


Over the last week, the Student Health Service has treated an increased number of students with symptoms of the norovirus or “stomach virus.” Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and in some cases fever and stomach pain. The symptoms associated with this outbreak have been mild and are not life threatening. Symptoms usually resolve in about 24 hours.

What should I do if I develop symptoms?

  • Remain in your room (except to use the bathroom) until 24 hours after your symptoms have completely resolved to help prevent the spread of infection.
  • Rest your stomach (nothing to eat or drink) until at least an hour has passed since last vomiting. Once you no longer feel nauseous, try slowly sipping on clear liquids and when hungry, follow the GI recovery diet.
  • Students experiencing persistent, severe vomiting or diarrhea should seek care at the Student Health Service, personal health care provider, or emergency healthcare facility. Students with mild-moderate symptoms do not need to seek medical care.
  • Wash your hands after using the restroom to prevent the spread of infection. The virus can remain present in stool for up to 2 weeks after symptoms resolve and it is important to continue to practice good hand hygiene during this time to reduce the spread of infection to others.
  • Do not prepare food for others until you have been well for a minimum of 48 hours.

How can I get food/beverages recommended for the GI recovery diet?

  • Students living on campus can ask their RA for a meal ticket for a “GI friendly meal kit” which will include clear liquids and easily digested foods.
  • These “meal tickets” may be obtained from their RA. Student ID numbers will be collected by the RA and provided to dining services to allow a friend to take a “to go” meal for the ill student using the patient’s meal plan.
  • Items like clear liquids, crackers, soups can also be obtained in the on campus stores.

What about my final exams?

  • Do not attempt to go to class to take finals while you are ill or in early recovery. Email your professor to report illness and discuss accommodations for taking a missed exam.
  • Faculty have been made aware of this illness and will work with students to reschedule exams.
  • Students do not need to come to Student Health Service to get a “note”.

How can I prevent “catching” the norovirus?

  • With norovirus the most effective way to stop the spread is to practice good handwashing and personal hygiene.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds scrubbing palms, between fingers and the back of the hands prior to rinsing with water. Hand washing should occur before eating any food or after handling any items touched by someone who has been ill with norovirus.
  • Do not share food or beverage with others.
  • Get adequate rest and hydration.

The university is taking every precaution to contain the spread of the illness, and to assist ill students, including actions in addition to those listed above:

  • University Housekeeping staff have increased cleaning operations in affected areas as a precaution, including cleaning restrooms, hand railings, door knobs, etc., and will continue to do so daily until the illness passes.
  • University Housekeeping will provide cleaning supplies to affected students for their university-owned personal living spaces.

More information about norovirus, and tips to prevent it from spreading, are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Additional questions can be addressed by contacting Student Health Service at 336-758-5218 or

Wake Forest Communications and External Relations


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