Stanford Students Fall Ill After Eating at Dorm Dining Hall

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A medical mystery at the Stanford University campus: More than 50 students are suffering from the same illness. Arturo Santiago reports. (Published Thursday, Oct 31, 2013)

    A medical mystery at the Stanford University campus: More than 50 students are suffering from the same illness.

    The Santa Clara County Health Department has been on campus for the last two days conducting its investigation. At this point, it looks like they're dealing with symptoms that are very similar to the norovirus, contrary to initial reports that indicated the possibility of food poisoning.

    As a precaution, the university is going to sanitize the dining hall at Florence Moore Hall starting Thursday night, which will shut it down until Saturday.

    A total of 51 students, all of them at Florence Moore, known as "FloMo" to students, started getting sick on Wednesday with severe flu-like symptoms, which included vomiting.

    Four students were taken to the emergency room for dehydration. They were given fluids and then sent home.

    The students who were sick are being kept separated from the other dorm residents.


    “We do have a team from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department here doing an investigation that includes interviewing students to see what they ate, or where they might have been, or if they were all in contact with a particular person who could have spread a virus,” university spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said.

    “I think I'll just be more conscious of washing my hands, and making sure I don't try and spread germs that much until they figure out what's spreading this and what's causing it,” Stanford student Casey Heier said.

    Along with sanitizing the dining hall, all the common areas of Florence Moore Hall will go through a 24-hour cleaning process using bleach and disinfectants.

    Those 51 students became ill in a 12-hour window.

    There have been no other reports of the sickness out of Florence Moore Hall since Thursday night, so officials think the occurrence is all but over.

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