In a follow-up report on the outbreak at the Humber College North Campus in Toronto, Toronto Public Health (TPH) reports receiving laboratory results that confirm norovirus was the cause of student illness at Humber College’s North Campus.
Additional laboratory testing is underway from other ill students that will help provide further evidence of norovirus being the cause of this outbreak.
Humber College continues to work with TPH and rigorously clean and disinfect the campus with special focus on common areas and high touch surfaces/areas including bathrooms and food establishments.
As well, self-serve food, such as salad bar items, has been suspended, and all open food (i.e. food not packaged or sealed) from last week has been disposed of. All campus food establishments, including the Humber hospitality program cooking labs, were inspected earlier this morning and no significant violations were observed.
School officials strongly encourage the Humber North Campus community to follow vigilant hand hygiene practices, including:
- Washing hands with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds
- Using hand sanitizer when available, rubbing one pump into hands until hands are dry
The majority of students who have been ill have reported that they are now feeling better. This is consistent with norovirus infection, which tends to last for one to three days. Students and staff are advised not to return to campus until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.
Individuals who are ill should stay home and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. They should avoid preparing food for others and wash their hands well before preparing food and after using the bathroom. Once they are well again, they should clean their environment well with a bleach solution. Cleaning protocols are in place to provide cleaning for students in residence.
Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.
The symptoms include nausea,vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally 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. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days.
Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.
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