A group of Western Connecticut State University students are ill from an unknown virus. About 100 students have come down with similar symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. Spokesman Paul Steinmetz says the university is working with the Department of Public Health to identify the source of the illness. Email messages have been sent to inform students of the outbreak, and the school closed one cafeteria and multiple common areas for cleaning over the weekend.
West Conn is closed today as a precaution to protect the university community from further infection and spread of the disease. Maintenance crews have been sanitizing and disinfecting both campuses.
West Conn officials do not yet know what caused the problem, though they are certain that it is not e-coli. Only two incidents of e-coli illness have been reported in Connecticut, and not in the Danbury region.
No new illnesses were reported in the residence halls overnight Saturday, and the University Police did not transport anyone to the emergency room.
For students who are experiencing vomiting, diarrhea or stomach pain, follow these guidelines:
1. If possible, go home to limit spread to others on campus.
2. Drink plenty of fluids.
3. Clean all surfaces contaminated with vomit or stool with a bleach solution. Launder soiled clothes right away. Students who live on campus should contact Housing and Residence Life staff to assist with room cleaning if necessary.
4. If you become dehydrated, go to the nearest emergency department. (Signs of dehydration include dizziness, dry mouth, decreased urination, headache, muscle cramps, thirst.)
5. You may return to campus 2-3 days after you have recovered.
These tips might help you stay well:
1. Use good hand hygiene and keep your fingers out of your mouth.
2. Don’t share food, drinks, cups, or utensils.
3. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
4. Clean surfaces in your living space frequently with bleach wipes.