Two Humber College students test positive for norovirus: TPH
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Monday, January 23, 2017 12:13PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 23, 2017 7:17PM EST
Two students who became sick from an unknown illness affecting students at Humber College’s North Campus have now tested positive for norovirus, Toronto Public Health says.
“Today, TPH has received laboratory results that confirm norovirus in the stool samples from two ill cases. These laboratory results are consistent with the signs and symptoms that have been reported,” Dr. Michael Finkelstein, the city’s associate medical officer of health told CP24 in an email.
Since Thursday, more than 200 students at the campus have been affected by an illness characterized by abdominal pain, dizziness, diarrhea and vomiting, with one being hospitalized.
Humber College said Monday evening that more testing is expected to point to norovirus as the cause of the illness.
“Additional laboratory testing is underway from other ill students that will help provide further evidence of norovirus being the cause of this outbreak,” the college said in a news release.
The college also said earlier Monday that the number of cases does not appear to be growing substantially any longer.
“As of Monday morning, we are pleased to report that the number of ill students has not increased appreciably and we are working diligently to ensure that this continues,” Humber said in a release.
The college also said that about 75 per cent of those who were ill now report feeling better, although that number still has to be confirmed by Toronto Public Health, which has been investigating the mystery illness at the college since Friday.
While food poisoning was originally suspected, health officials said over the weekend that they believe the illness to be more consistent with a seasonal norovirus – a highly contagious infection which is a common cause of vomiting and diarrhea each winter.
Humber said Monday that they have been responding to the situation over the past few days as if it were a norovirus.
The college said that cleaning staff have been working at the campus throughout the weekend, cleaning “high-touch” and common areas with products specifically designed to kill norovirus.
The college also says it has disposed of all open food from last week as a precaution.
Students and staff are also being encouraged to wash hands regularly and to make use of hand sanitizer.
Anyone who is feeling ill at the campus is encouraged to take the following steps:
- Stay home until you have been symptom free for 48 hours
- Wash your hands well using soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds before preparing food and after using the bathroom
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
- Avoid preparing food for others