Norovirus announced as cause of illness that sickened 200 at Ursinus College

- Ursinus College and the Montgomery County Health Department announced Monday that the cause of the illness that sickened over 200 students, faculty, and staff on campus over the past week is a Norovirus.

The Montgomery County Health Department confirmed the cases today. Norovirus is a contagious disease that causes gastroenteritis, which is inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

In a press release, officials stated that there is a significant decrease in students reporting symptoms since the illness was first reported last Tuesday.

The custodial staff will continue with aggressive cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting efforts with emergency custodial services available after hours.

Classes will continue as scheduled this week.

“Members of the campus community who develop symptoms should continue to contact the Wellness Center,” Ursinus College Medical Director Dr. Paul Doghramji said. “Anyone who has been ill should follow CDC Guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading. This includes practicing good hygiene, avoiding well people for a few days, and cleaning clothes, linens, and contaminated surfaces.”

Julie Paoline, Division Director of Communicable Disease Control Montgomery County Health Department, said: “At this time, the Health Department believes that Ursinus College administration and its staff have done everything they can do in terms of focusing on monitoring illness, promoting hand hygiene, conducting environmental disinfection and excluding ill food workers. There are no additional recommendations from the Department at this time. This will need to run its course.”

“This has been a difficult time for students and their families,” said Ursinus College President Brock Blomberg. “The safety and wellbeing of our students remains our top priority. We are committed to maintaining regular communication with the community and making students aware of all the medical care resources available to them. We are grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received from the surrounding community and beyond during this challenging time.”

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