Airborne transmission of an illness occurs when bacteria or viruses travel on dust particles or on small respiratory droplets that may become aerosolized when people sneeze, cough, laugh or exhale. They can travel on air currents over considerable distances and are loaded with infectious particles.

Foodborne illnesses are caused by a variety of foodborne pathogenic bacteria, viruses, prions or parasites that contaminate food. Commonly referred to as food poisoning, foodborne illness is any illness resulting from the consumption of food.

If there is a concern toward a possible airborne or foodborne illness, notify your building proctor, dean or director of the affected facility. They in turn will notify Texas A&M Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

EHS will begin an immediate investigation to determine the nature of the illness and simultaneously contact the appropriate medical personnel for assistance. EHS will notify Student Health Services medical personnel and will coordinate actions and activities as necessary.

Medical staff will authorize treatment onsite or transport affected personnel to available medical facilities for treatment.

In the event of a suspected airborne or foodborne illness, Student Health Services personnel will immediately contact EHS and will coordinate activities as necessary.

Pandemic Threats

In the case of a pandemic threat, such as pandemic influenza, actions will be taken based on the location and level of transmission of a virus. Faculty, students and staff will be directed to follow actions given by the university based on the level of outbreak.

For more information, please see Texas A&M University's Annex H Health and Medical Services.