News

Cause of Campus Illness Identified

Test results confirmed cases of Norovirus, a contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis.

Ursinus College, in partnership with The Montgomery County Health Department, today announced that the cause of the illness that sickened over 200 students, faculty and staff at the college over the past week is a Norovirus. Test results issued by the Montgomery County Health Department today confirmed cases of Norovirus, a contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines).

There continues to be a significant decrease in students reporting symptoms since the illness was first reported to the college’s Wellness Center last Tuesday morning. Aggressive cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting efforts will continue throughout the week with the help of additional custodial staff. Emergency custodial services will be 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,” said Ursinus College Medical Director Dr. Paul Doghramji. “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.”

Updates will continue to be sent as new information is made available.