ORANGE ( — Chapman University has been affected by an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness, the Orange County Health Department announced Wednesday.

Health officials have determined the cause of the illness is most likely norovirus, which can be contracted through human touch or can be foodborne.

Norovirus is very contagious and is typically spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. It is not airborne.

On Dec. 2, several students reported having gastrointestinal symptoms. Since then, a total of 50 students have reported experiencing similar symptoms.

At this time, medical testing has confirmed that only one student has norovirus.

So far, the students who reported having symptoms live off-campus. Health officials do not believe the outbreak was not foodborne as the students do not use the university’s dining facilities.

According to health officials, symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low-grade fever, stomach cramps, muscle aches, fatigue and dehydration. These symptoms usually subside after a few days.

Campus employees have advised students to visit the Student Health Center as soon as possible if symptoms resembling the stomach bug appear. Those experiencing vomiting and diarrhea should not attend classes and university activities.

The university’s food service, Sodexo, can prepare to-go meals, which can be picked up or delivered to those who are sick. Call Sodexo at (714) 997-6886.

The origin of the virus remains unclear at this time.

Concerned students and family members can call the Dean of Students’ office at (714) 997-6721.

For more information, click here.

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