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FAU Campus Sickness

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FAU Campus Sickness

One press entity has finally discovered the FAU-wide sickness, days after we have been discussing it here (in the football forum).

It continues to bother me that FAU has not taken any responsibility (and has not apologized) for this debacle, and is now talking about a virus. It would seem to me that a virus would continue to spread to others, continuing and compounding this problem. This problem started almost immediately in a large group of people (more than the 100 who called the health department to report it) and ended almost as quickly.

My daughter came home and mingled with many extended family members a day and a half after getting this intense illness and none of us got sick.

Also, the health department spokesman's comment that it had to be a virus because people who got sick claimed not to have been in the cafeteria is baloney! Those people could have come in contact with the cause of the sickness in a bathroom, on an infected person or in the other food place on campus.


100 become ill in suspected norovirus outbreak at FAU in Boca Raton

By Stephen Deere
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted April 18 2006

BOCA RATON ? Palm Beach County health officials still are trying to figure out what made more than 100 people at Florida Atlantic University's Boca Raton campus sick over the weekend.

Many students have reported symptoms of a norovirus, a typically nonfatal illness that usually occurs on cruise ships or other communal living quarters.

Twelve people went to the hospital over the weekend complaining of major gastrointestinal distress. All were treated and released.

Initially, the one thing everyone who became sick had in common was dining at the campus' Marketplace Cafeteria, which serves 1,400 students on the campus meal plan. But then the Palm Beach County Health Department began receiving reports of others who had not eaten there and become ill.

"This means it is being passed from person to person somehow," said Tim O'Connor, a Health Department spokesman, adding that he doesn't believe the campus has had an outbreak before.

The department is still investigating and has sent fecal and vomit samples to a state lab in Tampa. Results are expected today.

If it is a norovirus, the best way to stop it from spreading is by maintaining good hygiene, O'Connor said.

O'Connor urged everyone who has symptoms to stay at home to avoid exposing others. O'Connor also advised students to change bedsheets and wash their hands often, and she said that residence hall common areas should be thoroughly cleaned. About 1,900 of the campus' students live in dorm rooms.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

FAU officials learned of the illness reports about 2 a.m. Saturday, said Kristine McGrath, a university spokeswoman. Most came from students, and a few were from staff members. The university closed the cafeteria over the weekend and hired decontamination specialists to clean it, McGrath said. Although the cafeteria reopened Monday, nightly cleanings will continue for now, she said.

Noroviruses spread through the fecal matter or vomit of infected people and can be contracted by eating contaminated food or liquids, touching contaminated surfaces or objects or having contact with an infected person. Symptoms usually appear about 24 to 48 hours after a person ingests the virus.

"We're doing all we can to try to keep things as clean and healthy as possible," McGrath said.

On Saturday, the university sent an e-mail to students, staff and faculty alerting them to the possible outbreak.

"In a effort to determine the cause of these symptoms, the Department of Health needs to hear from you," the statement read.

FAU Freshman Breana Cox had a ham-and-cheese omelet at the cafeteria Friday morning.

She spent 1 to 8 a.m. Sunday in the bathroom. She also went home to Daytona Beach for the Easter weekend.

"I actually went home and my family got it," she said. "My dad was like `Oh, it's nothing' and he got it just, like, I got it."

Cox said her friends aren't heeding the Health Department's advice and avoiding her.

"They don't really care," she said. "If they get it, they get it."

Stephen Deere can be reached at [email protected] or 561-228-5506.
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FAU Campus Sickness

This incident has definitley been covered by the media. I did a search an numerous articles came up.

Such great publicity lately, A shooting at the dorms, band director fired, 100+ students sick. Can't wait to see what gets covered next in the news.

FAU - THE REAL SLEEPING GIANT
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FAU Campus Sickness

Well, we don't have a Lacrosse team to diffuse the bad pub.
Bad joke.. :-[

Hopefully they'll get to the bottom of this thing. Soon.


Continue in getting well, Daphne.
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FAU Campus Sickness

Thanks O.G.Owl

I almost 100% again. All I can say I hope they figure it out and it doesnt happen again!

~Daphne

AEA
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FAU Campus Sickness

In the emails and notices by the university they are claiming it was a norovirus and never mention the words food poisoning. Strange thing is if you google "norovirus food poisoning" it's the same thing, a norovirus is a type of food poisoning. Strange huh!
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FAU Campus Sickness

Man, our "gem" might change his mind after this...dang it.
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FAU Campus Sickness

The Post finally covered this story today, attributing the food poisoning (still unofficial) to a sick cafeteria worker. That person should be fired. Period.

Reportedly, more than 150 people reported being sickened and more than a dozen hospitalized. Many more actually were affected.

A few people contracted the sickness from others via touching, contaminated materials, etc.

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