96 Ursinus College Students Now Reporting Stomach Infection Symptoms

The school has been unable to confirm the cause of the outbreak. The college is working with Montco health officials to determine the origin.


About 96 students have reported having symptoms of a stomach infection at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., and at least 22 of those students had to be treated at area hospitals, according to the Montgomery County Health Department, but Ursinus says it is unclear what caused the outbreak.

“On Tuesday evening a number of Ursinus students were taken ill with a stomach infection,” the school said in a statement on its website Wednesday. “Symptoms included prolonged vomiting, and a number of students went to the hospital or to urgent care centers for treatment. As of Wednesday morning, there have been reports of approximately 40 students who have become ill.”

The school added that Ursinus is “actively investigating the potential cause of the incident” in conjunction with the Montgomery County Health Department in order to ascertain whether it is food-borne or transmitted through contact.

“I encourage any students or staff experiencing symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal
pain to be particularly careful about dehydration and to seek medical care,” said Dr. Valerie Arkoosh,
Interim Medical Director of the Montgomery County Health Department, in a statement.

Students or staff experiencing symptoms are advised to contact the Ursinus College Wellness Center (wellness@ursinus.edu) or to come in during regular hours between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ursinus College EMS will be available 24/7 for assistance via Campus Safety at 610-409-3333.

In an attempt to combat the spread of the illness, Ursinus is closing sections of its dining halls and serving only a limited menu. The school is also making sure to thoroughly clean residence halls and common areas.

One dining hall remained closed until 2 p.m. for cleaning while another, which had been serving a limited menu, closed at that time to undergo precautionary cleaning. The school just announced that dining services are closed as a precaution and that alternative dining options will be emailed to students.


The school says the infection’s symptoms seem to go away within 12 to 18 hours.

“The best way to prevent the spread GI illness,” said Arkoosh, “is to practice good hand-hygiene and to thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces in common areas.”

Ursinus will continue to post updates on the situation to its website and its Twitter.

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