The university concluded that norovirus, a nasty gut bug, was the likely culprit, said Renee Vary, an Oglethorpe spokeswoman.
Ford said we’ll never know for sure, but that’s a good guess.
The incidence of norovirus infection peaks from December to March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And the way this illness spread — with 48 people reporting symptoms over five days, 17 of them with the relevant symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea or both — was inconsistent with a food event, which would typically occur on one day, Ford said.
DeKalb recommended deep cleaning the bathrooms in student housing while students are away on spring break this week. The students share suites, and, well, they aren’t that far removed from high school.
“It’s kind of up to the students to clean,” said Ford, who has a son in college and is familiar with the young adult approach to hygiene. “So enough said.”
Norovirus has been making an appearance in Georgia.
More than 120 were sickened after 13 students at the Milledgeville campus of Georgia College reported suffering gastrointestinal illness, according to the website of The Telegraph, in Macon. In February, local health officials attributed it to norovirus, the newspaper reported.
And in September, an elementary school in Rockdale County was shuttered due to illness, with health officials suspecting norovirus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.