Mysterious Illness Causes Outbreak In Campus, Norivirus Suspected

By Duna Bil , Jan 22, 2017 10:43 PM EST

Around 200 students have been suffering with symptoms of a mysterious illness, suspected to be Norovirus infection  at Humber College campus reported a Toronto Public Health Official. About 40 students have visited the emergency room since Thursday, and one of those students was actually hospitalized. Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Michael Finkelstein said on Sunday that they are currently investigating exactly what has caused the students to become sick.

“The signs and a symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have been associated with norovirus in the past and that certainly is possible but we continue to investigate,” he said. The medical officer also stressed that Humber officials are “doing their best” to clean surfaces possibly infected with the virus to help stem the spread of the illness.

According to the CP24 , no definite diagnosis surrounding the mysterious illness have been made but doctors think that the symptoms found in the students are consistent with norovirus infection. Norovirus can be foodborne as it can contaminate food. But it can also easily be transmitted through physical contact.

“In both situations really the focus should be on cleaning up the environment, including high touch surfaces like washrooms,” Dr. Finkelstein said. Amid the ongoing outbreak, Humber College has issued a statement that all food premises will be “provided with updated food safety control practices and procedures” in light of the mysterious infection. The school said that they have increased cleaning frequency in the campus residences and are taking care of sick students by delivering water to encourage hydration, The The Star  says.

Paramedics were called to the campus on Friday at 9:40 p.m. after a number of students called complaining of stomach cramps and vomiting. Six ambulances and a bus transported patients to two different hospitals. In the end, the mysterious illness caused twenty-nine to be rushed to the hospital while others made their way to the emergency centers.

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