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April 3, 2014

Illness plagues UPJ

A suspected outbreak of norovirus had affected 115 students at Pitt-Johnstown as of March 31.

While the campus Office of Health and Counseling awaits the results of state Department of Health test kits used on students, which could take one to two more weeks, for an official diagnosis, campus officials have requested that ill students with transportation go home and those sickened on campus isolate themselves for 72 hours, with campus dining services delivering meals to students  if requested.

The virus, whose major symptoms according to the state health department are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and possible stomach cramping, has no treatment and usually wanes within two days.

“We are still not aware of where everything started,” said UPJ spokesperson Natalie S. Bombatch.

In a March 31 statement, campus President Jem Spectar said, “The situation could last as long as the entire month of April,” but noted that the campus had returned to normal operations after a brief period of office closures and building disinfection.

—Marty Levine