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Outbreak on Campus: Follow Up

Anne Winberry

As the panic from the recent virus outbreak winds down, students have begun to wonder what was the real cause of this illness.  In our last issue, students voiced their concerns over the food in Winnick Hall.

In recent weeks, all students have been e-mailed a request to fill out a health survey. The survey asked students to detail their activities, food intake, interactions etc. According to Nancy Marksbury, the Deputy Chief Information Officer at C.W. Post, the questions were compiled by the Nassau County Department of Health. “The questions were developed at the request of the Nassau County Department of Health to gather the best data possible to determine the possible cause of the stomach virus,” Marksbury said. “All information collected by these surveys is maintained with the utmost care for student privacy in accordance with University adherence to FERPA guidelines and our commitment to protecting student information.”

William Milford, Director of Student Health, reported only 16 cases in most recent weeks. “The reported cases seem to be winding down. As yet, to my knowledge, the Nassau County Health Department has not reported final conclusions from the testing they have done,” Milford added. “The current medical thought is that this is a stomach virus similar to what is being seen in the surrounding counties.”

While the Department of Health was not immediately available for comment, it has been made clear by administrators that the Department of Health is conducting a full on investigation of the illness. It was at first thought that this illness was due to the food in Winnick Hall. However, according to Shawn Carvajal, director of C.W. Post Dining Services said that early medical reports show that this was not a food-borne illness. “Dining Services always works closely the Nassau County Department of Health and follows stringent guidelines for food safety,” Carvajal said. The drinking water on campus has also been tested and has come back as negative for contamination.

For more information on how to prevent illness on campus, please contact the Student Health Center at (516) 299-2345.

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