RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — About 60 students are experiencing symptoms during a confirmed norovirus outbreak at North Carolina State University.

The gastrointestinal illness is highly contagious and causes stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea.

“For me it was for one night and that night it was like the apocalypse, honestly. It was, ugh, really bad,” said Astri Sundstroem, a graduate student who battled the virus this week.

Most of the affected students, including Sundstroem and senior Linda Astrom, live in the Alexander residence hall.

“It was really bad. It was very intense for like just a few hours. Everything broke out. It was crazy. Everyone was really sick,” Astrom said.

“These outbreaks are usually very large even with good containment measures they can be pretty large. And of course, in a college and university setting where we have people in residence halls, it can be pretty easy to have it spread pretty quickly,” said Dr. Julie Casani, medical director for health services at NC State.

The Wake County Department of Human Services has confirmed the presence of norovirus. About 60 students on campus have exhibited symptoms consistent with norovirus, officials said. Most, but not all, of them live in Alexander Hall.

University officials are checking on affected students and offering wellness kits containing liquids and easy-to-digest foods. Students with the illness have been told to stay home while they’re sick, and housekeepers are stepping up cleaning operations in the affected areas.

“They’ve been really good. They provided us with little survival kits with chicken soup and Gatorade and they’ve been checking up on us. They’ve been very nice,” said Astrom.

The university is urging people to take precautions to stem the spread of the disease.

“With norovirus and other gastrointestinal illnesses, the most effective way to stop the spread is to practice good handwashing and personal hygiene,” officials wrote.

Natascha Soerensen, a senior who also lives in Alexander, is doing her best to avoid the illness.

“Just washed my hands and when I heard about people getting sick, I just left the building,” she said.
The university is in the midst of exams.

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