Notice of Gastroenteritis Outbreak, March 6, 2008

FROM: Susan Lewark CFNP
NMT Student Health

The New Mexico Tech campus has identified an outbreak of an intestinal disorder (gastroenteritis). Symptoms include a rapid onset of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Low grade fevers, headache, weakness and muscle aches also are common. The illness is usually self-limiting and may last for 3-5 days. Symptoms may lead to dehydration, which can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.

We are working with the N.M. Department of Public Health to identify the specific type of pathogen and how to treat it. Many types of gastroenteritis can be spread by aerosolized fluids (coughing, sneezing). Hand-washing and hand sanitizers are effective methods to reduce the spread of pathogens Surface sanitizing with chlorine based-cleaners is recommended in areas where a virus may be present on surfaces.

Residential Life has already begun a marketing campaign to encourage hand- washing. Facilities Management and Residential Life staff also are using different cleaning products to decrease the spread of the suspected virus.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, please consult with your physician; or, if you are a student, we encourage you to visit the Student Health Center immediately.

I will make myself available to answer your questions or concerns.


Susan Lewark CFNP
NMT Student Health