More than 150 students ought to have sickened by a gastrointestinal illness at an eastern Pennsylvania college, health officials said Thursday.
Ursinus College canceled all class and shut down dining halls for the remainder of Thursday, as well as of Friday, according to WTXF. As of Thursday afternoon, 153 students, staff and faculty have symptoms of the stomach illness and have contacted the schools wellness center.
College spokeswoman Esme Artz initially said that 174 students were infected with the illness, but the number lessened when it was learned that some students were counted twice after contacting the wellness center and other health facility, according to WXTF.
At least two students were admitted into the emergency room and two more were required in order to Einstein Medical Center-Montgomery early Thursday.
The Montgomery County Health Department is trying to determine whether the illness is food-borne or transmitted via person to person contact, according to WXTF. Officials said its common for gastrointestinal illnesses such as Norovirus to circulate in colleges in winter.
“Ursinus’ first priority is the health and well-being of our students, ” President Brock Blomberg said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with officials from the Department of Health and follow their recommendations.”
According to the college, health officials estimate it could take a few days to determine the cause of the outbreak. Dining regions are expected to undergo a complete clean and sanitization.
Ursinus has partnered with Wawa, Wegman’s, local pizza shops and a bakery to provide food while the cafeterias are closed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report .
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