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Gastro care plan implemented

Friday, October 31, 2008
Gastro care plan implemented

A comprehensive plan has been put into action to combat an outbreak of gastroenteritis affecting students at Massey University’s Manawatu Campus.

Regional Registrar Dr Sandi Shillington says that more than 60 students have been treated by the on-site Medical Centre and many more students are known to be unwell. Students from each of the University’s halls of residence are affected, and some living in Palmerston North. The University has a detailed plan for outbreaks of this nature and it was implemented in the early hours of this morning after it came to the attention of halls residential advisers that several students had become unwell.

“We are working with MidCentral District Health Board’s experts in public health and from early today we have had extra staff on-site to do everything possibly to both contain the outbreak and care for students. Extra cleaning measures have been instituted, we have provided hand sanitisers and cleansing wipes, and have even brought in fresh water supplies. Medical treatment is provided on campus free of charge and we have brought in supplies of the electrolyte fluids used to keep people well hydrated.”

Exams are underway at present, both today, tomorrow and on Monday. Any student who has displayed symptoms within the last 48 hours is being advised to remain at home, but Dr Shillington says that provision has been made for students who have been unwell but who still feel able to take exams.

“Students who do appear for exams, and who have been displaying symptoms within the last 48 hours are being asked to go to the Refectory building where they will be able to sit their exams.

“Students who think that they have recovered enough to sit exams, but are still uncertain as to their status are being also asked to report to Refectory at least half an hour before their exam so that they can be accommodated there, away from other students. Students who are unwell are being advised of the process to apply for impaired performance consideration or Aegrotat.”

Extra precautions including use of hand sanitisers, wipes and extra cleaning is beings provided in all exam venues.

Dr Shillington says 22 students had opted to take exams at the Refectory building this afternoon, which showed the message on avoiding further outbreaks had reached students.

Extra staff will be on campus throughout the weekend and plans would be reviewed daily. Any student who is uncertain about arrangements can call 0800 Massey to obtain an update.


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