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February 14, 2016

Ursinus students returning to class after stomach bug sickens 200

10 more fall ill over weekend

Students at Ursinus College in Montgomery County will return to the classroom after a mysterious stomach illness left more than 200 students sick.

The school announced Sunday afternoon that classes would resume Monday after they were cancelled Thursday and Friday.

While 10 more students had reported suffering the illness over the weekend, the school says that reports of the sickness have been decreasing significantly.

On Friday, the toll of those stricken had risen to 192, bringing the total Sunday to more than 200.

Public spaces and common areas have been cleaned, sanitized and disinfected, and hand sanitizers have been placed in high-traffic areas.

Additionally, Jefferson University Hospital is offering students free video consultations through Feb. 29.

The school's cafeteria and snack bar were temporarily closed for inspection as a result of the illness, but Wawa and Wegmans came to the rescue, providing students and staff free food on campus.

Dining services have since reopened after the Montgomery County Health Department performed inspections and found the services were in compliance with their recommendations.

Health officials said last week that students hit with the illness had experienced symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration and abdominal pain. The school said Sunday that the symptoms generally ran their course within 12-24 hours.

Officials also said last week they were conducting tests for both bacteria and viruses, the results of which are expected to come sometime this week.

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