More Than 300 Hampden-Sydney Students Sick; Classes Cancelled Until Monday

FARMVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — Hampden-Sydney College is canceling classes until Monday after an illness sickened more than 300 students this week.

Many patients even had to be taken to the emergency room suffering from nausea and vomiting. 

The school’s basketball game that was scheduled for Saturday against Emory & Henry has been postponed. All administrative offices are also closed.

The university sent out a news release Wednesday via Twitter, saying that ‘a number of students’ have been treated at Centra Southside Community Hospital’s emergency room for symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fever.

“Diagnosis has been acute gastroenteritis, with a treatment of IV fluids, medications to control vomiting, and a return to campus to rest and continue rehydration,” the release read. “This illness is characterized by a sudden onset with mild to severe symptoms.”

The Virginia Department of Health is still investigating. The agency says that “all indications are that this is an easily spread viral infection.”

“We’re still waiting on word on specific etiological agent,” VDH said Thursday. “The rate of illness appears to be slowing based on numbers of students going to the local ER and the college student health center.  Based on the symptoms and rapid spread, norovirus is still our top suspect regarding cause, but we certainly want lab results to confirm.

Click here to read the full release.

Students are being advised to wash their hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, and to avoid sharing items with other people. The university advises students “do not go to class if you are experiencing symptoms.”

The school says that anyone with concerns should contact 434-223-6411.

Stay with 8News for updates on this developing story.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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