By Emily Sakamoto
April showers bring May flowers and also apparently a second wave of gastroenteritis. According to the Health Center, the virus has hit campus hard over the past few days, with students falling victim to symptoms, including quick and intense onset of vomiting and nausea, as well as standard flu-like indications such as body chills, fever and aching.
“Most people will recover completely in 24 to 48 hours,” Health Center Director Kim Cullers wrote in an email. “I am not overly concerned, mainly because people who get viral gastroenteritis almost always recover completely without any long-term problems.”
Tory Bruch ’14 is a track and field athlete whose onset of symptoms was ill-timed for an away meet last weekend. “It comes on really quickly,” Bruch said. “And it’s definitely not just a 24-hour thing.” Students who have experienced the virus have expressed concerns surrounding health policies and class attendance.
Hannah Laub ’16 succumbed to both sweeps of the virus and expressed her personal anxieties on missing class. “I was really worried about some of my professors’ policies on attendance. I really wanted to stay in bed, but I didn’t feel like I could,” Laub said. Spread through both direct and indirect contact with infected persons, the virus also runs the risk of being transferred through the consumption of contaminated food and drink.
“I’m pretty worried because we shared the garlic sauce for our cheesy bread last night,” joked Jinexa Nunez ’16, whose roommate recently came down with the virus. Nunez’s qualms are not to be taken lightly, however, as symptoms usually follow one-to-two days after contact with the virus.
One student’s experiences with the virus hindered his academic capabilities. “I felt really weak and tired … all of which greatly affected my ability to concentrate. I did terribly on my exam because of it,” Adam Brill ’17 said. “Socially, I was bedridden for a day.”
The Health Center is urging students who begin to feel ill to not subject other students to possible contamination by avoiding public spaces including class and Peirce Hall. Cullers believes the worst is behind us, and that this past weekend was the peak in cases of gastroenteritis on campus.