Thiel College awaits lab tests on student illnesses - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Thiel College awaits lab tests on student illnesses

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Saturday's football game and other athletic activities at Thiel College this weekend have been canceled.  

It's due to an as yet unexplained illness among a large number of students and staff. 

It was late Tuesday when several students went to the emergency room at Greenville Hospital complaining of gastrointestinal flu-like symptoms.  By Wednesday, the number affected had more than tripled. 

"As of yesterday, we had approximately 40 to 50 students presenting with the symptoms," said Mike McKinney, Dean of Students.

The campus health center then notified the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which recommended the cancellation of athletic events and practices through the weekend. "The reason is the close contact and physical contact of those athletic programs and activities, according to McKinney.

In most cases, the illness has lasted between 24 and 48 hours with treatment.  "To my knowledge, the students are receiving in some cases an I-V, and in some cases prescriptions for nausea," said McKinney. 

Samples were taken from students for lab testing and the Department of Agriculture also came on campus and inspected the dining facilities and tested food products. 

The administration says they also have increased cleaning just as a precaution.

 "We've increased our cleaning of all facilities, especially common areas, the residence halls, restrooms, door knobs, anywhere we feel germs are more spreadable," McKinney said.

Classes and other activities will continue at Thiel as scheduled.   

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