Tom Nary, director of University Health Services (UHS), sent an email on Tuesday informing the Boston College community that three recent patients had been diagnosed with norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus.
This update comes after both Nary—in an email to the BC community—and Beth Emery, director of BC Dining— in an email to The Heights—denied reports of norovirus on campus, instead explaining that UHS had observed flu-like, gastrointestinal illnesses in “several dozen” students. Nary explicitly denied the rumors of a norovirus outbreak in his original public email.
In response, BC Dining had restricted access to self-serve options in dining halls, later returning them as individually packaged and wrapped items.
“As I wrote in an update Friday, several dozen of our 14,400 students reported to University Health Services last week with symptoms related to gastrointestinal illness,” Nary said in the email sent out midday on Tuesday. “The students were treated and all have recovered. However, today Health Services learned that laboratory tests from three patients treated early last week revealed the presence of norovirus.”
Nary closed out his Tuesday email by reiterating that BC Dining and Housekeeping staff would continue to disinfect common touch-points around campus. He also advised students to take precautions to prevent the spread of illness, such as washing their hands and cleaning frequently-touched surfaces.
In 2015, over 120 BC students, including 10 members of the men’s basketball team, were infected with norovirus. The outbreak was later linked to a Cleveland Circle Chipotle employee, though it did quickly spread throughout the student body. BC Dining and UHS sent out similar emails and engaged in similar procedures at that time.
Featured Image by Abby Hunt / Heights Editor