The mystery origin of the Ursinus College stomach bug that continued to sicken students through the weekend is still not found, but Ursinus College is getting a thorough cleaning. If the origin was in any one place on campus, it is sure to be gone by now with all the spraying, cleaning and sanitizing work that’s been completed.
According to ABC News on February 14, the number of reported cases are close to 200 today. The students were sick with vomiting and diarrhea, but this stomach bug seemed to be a quick bout of sickness with symptoms abating within 12 to 24 hours. While 22 students sought treatment at area hospitals last week, none were admitted.
A Montegomery County Health Department report for the college, which was published online and dated back to February 10, 2016, indicated quite a few violations found during the health inspection. Violations listed for the Ursinus College dinning hall included dead bugs, open pesticides near food and improper hand washing.
The health department did a follow-up inspection on Thursday, which indicated the college successfully addressed most of the violations on the previous health department report. As of today the health department is trying to determine how this stomach bug is transmitted. Is it transmitted from person to person or is this stomach bug foodbourne? This is what they are working on at this time.
HNGN News today reports that the symptoms of this stomach bug are similar to Norovirus, but this has not been confirmed by health officials. The college should get kudos for the way they jumped in and not only made sure the students were cared for by having health professionals available for them around the clock, but for their immediate cleaning and sanitizing at the campus. It sounds as if they sanitized anything that stood still! They also complied with the health department by successfully addressing the violations reported in the first health department inspection.
In this day of technology, the students have access to an emergency room doctor 24/7 without even leaving the campus. The college reported in a statement that “Jefferson University Hospital is offering Ursinus students free video visits with Jefferson doctors through February 29.”
This is called JeffConnect On-Demand Virtual Care and it “allows students to have an urgent care video visit with a Jefferson emergency physician anytime, 24/7, using a mobile device or a computer with a webcam.” The app for JeffConnect app is offered to the students at Ursinus College free of charge. This app, along with the college Wellness Center available to students, leaves the students with a few good options when feeling sick.