dining hall closed after students hospitalized
of Article: http://www.freep.com/article/20090401/NEWS06/90401078/1008/NEWS/MSU+dining+hall+closed+after+students+hospitalized
at 5:59 p.m.
Michigan State University
dining hall has been closed indefinitely after more than 20 students were
hospitalized overnight, according to MSU and the Ingham County Health
students, suffering from vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramping,
began arriving at Sparrow Hospital late Tuesday and have been interviewed
about what they may have eaten, and other means of exposure, said Jason
Cody, MSU spokesman.
students sought help. None is in serious condition, said John Lux, a
students began arriving in groups at 1:30 a.m., said Robin Roach, nurse
epidemiologist and infection control director for Sparrow Hospital. After treating the first
three or four students, she said, emergency room staff realized that they
were the beginning of a long chain that might follow.
is not something that happens at MSU every year,” she said.
students were sequestered to prevent cross-contamination with other
patients. She said interviews with the public health
department are under way, but it’s too early to tell if the source of the
illness is food-related or otherwise. She said the hospital has started
discharging those that came in early last night, after rehydrating them and
taking samples to test for food-borne illness-causing bacteria.
results could come as early as tonight, she said.
Sienko, head of the health department, and Beth Alexander, MSU’s chief
physician, were to meet today with Sparrow Hospital officials to try to
determine the cause, according to the health department.
Hall cafeteria is still closed, but they’ve started serving produce in the
other cafeterias. It was unclear if all of the sickened students had eaten
at Shaw, a centrally located, recently renovated residence and dining hall.
this year, several MSU students were hospitalized after eating lettuce
contaminated with E. coli. That incident -- the beginning of a statewide
outbreak -- was eventually traced to lettuce packaged by a Detroit supplier
that ships lettuce elsewhere, as well.
the dining hall where he works as a student cook, David Hearn said staff
put out steak and ribs and burritos for lunch, but the salad bar remained
just have things like yogurt and fruit that comes in cans,” said Hearn, a
25-year-old senior from Inkster.
Cooper, a Huntington Woods telecommunications major, said he still plans to
dine on campus, in part, because of his budget. But he said students are
well aware of the earlier E. coli outbreak, the national scare over tainted
peanut butter, and now this.
21-year-old senior said he’ll pick his food carefully tonight. But – then
again – how do you do that? he added.
looks pretty much the same. What is it? The meat? The lettuce? The peanut
butter? Who knows?”
the university is urging students and staff to wash their hands with warm,
soapy water for a minimum of 20 seconds. They also should not share any
personal items such as toothbrushes, silverware or glasses.
showing symptoms are asked to contact Olin Health Center at 517-353-5557.