Stomach flu hits college, nursing home

MIDDLEBURY — A bout of gastroenteritis, commonly known as stomach flu, has swept through Middlebury College and the surrounding community over the past two weeks.
Students were first advised about the flu in an email to all students, faculty and staff on Jan. 22.
“The Parton Center for Health and Counseling has received several reports of cases of gastroenteritis among Middlebury College students. We are also aware of similar cases in the local community. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea,” said Parton Medical Director Mark Peluso in the email.
The stubborn outbreak spread throughout the college, prompting an additional all-campus email from Parton Executive Director Augustus Jordan on Friday, Jan. 27.
“As we enter the weekend, be aware that many cases of gastroenteritis continue to affect the campus community. Symptoms can be severe, though typically do not last more than 24 hours. Class attendance may be down and sporting events have been impacted,” he wrote.
That weekend, Porter Hospital saw a spike in visits from Middlebury students complaining of gastroenteritis symptoms, Porter spokesman Ron Hallman said.
Helen Porter Health Care and Rehabilitation was also hard hit with several ill staff and residents. The nursing home closed new admissions for four or five days to limit the spread of the virus-borne disease. But on last Friday Hallman said the facility was back to normal.
“This happens around every year,” he said.
Health officials advised frequent hand washing — with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer — to guard against the disease. For people already affected, Peluso advised constant fluid intake.
The suddenness of the flu outbreak at Middlebury College — nicknamed “gastro” by students — led many to arrive at food poisoning and blame the college’s dining services.
But Peluso quickly dispelled the rumors, pointing out that “gastro” is mostly caused by viruses.
“In most cases, it is hard to determine the exact cause, and there are certainly cases of gastroenteritis among people in the greater Middlebury community who have not eaten in a Middlebury College dining facility. Nevertheless, the director of dining services has assured us that the dining services staff is aware that some students are sick, and they continue to maintain their high standards of food preparation and hygiene,” he said

Share this story:

More News
News Uncategorized

Fresh Air Fund youths returning to county

The Fresh Air Fund, initiated in 1877 to give kids from New York City the opportunity to e … (read more)

Obituaries Uncategorized

Mark A. Nelson of Bristol

BRISTOL — A memorial service for Mark A. Nelson of Bristol will be held 1 p.m. on Saturday … (read more)

Sports Uncategorized

High school athletes ready for fall playoffs this week

See when your favorite high school team is competing in the fall sports playoffs.

Share this story: