After an overwhelming number of incidences, Whisler Health Center informed the community that there was an epidemic of gastroenteritis (stomach flu) last week.
The condition was likely spread through close living quarters and shared environments, which made students more susceptible to contracting the norovirus.
According to the message, which was sent to the community by Charles Marty, medical director of health services, the Licking County Memorial Hospital emergency department has seen several cases of the stomach flu apparent in the last few weeks.
Director of Health Services, Amanda Lefeld said, “we felt it was important to send out the email because not only were we seeing an uptick in the presence of gastroenteritis here on campus, but it was increasing in the larger community as well.”
At minimum, Whisler has seen and treated at least 18 students who experienced nausea, vomiting and stomach pains but there are likely other students who chose to self-medicate and rest on their own volition.
It can be difficult for students to avoid viral illnesses like the stomach flu due to such close living conditions and the busyness of collegiate life.
Isabel Ruksznis ‘18 experienced a few troubling symptoms prior to the official email but said, “whenever things like this happen, anyone with a weak immune system can get sick. It’s tricky to avoid, especially when there are so many other things students’ have to deal with.”
Many women who chose to participate in Panhellenic sorority recruitment last week became ill, likely do to the physical strain and packed environment of the process.
Lauren Secaras ‘18 said, “a lot of girls came down with stomach flu-like symptoms during recruitment, which made it spread really quickly without much warning.”
According to Whisler, those who have caught the virus should rest and eat only bland foods after the illness has significantly subsided.