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Gastro bug appears to be under control

Saturday, November 1, 2008
Gastro bug appears to be under control

Measures enacted yesterday to combat an outbreak of gastroenteritis at Massey University’s Manawatu Campus appear to be working.

Halls of residence staff onsite overnight reported only a handful of new cases. Three students attending exams reported feeling unwell but did not have gastroenteritis symptoms. Measures started yesterday including cleansing wipes and hand sanitisers were being well used by students and staff, with the additional cleaning measures continuing.

The University’s on-site medical clinic yesterday (Friday) treated around 90 students for gastroenteritis. The clinic is open again today but fewer than 10 students have attended this morning. Supplies of electrolytes, to keep those who were unwell hydrated, had been replenished, and fresh water will also continue to be provided.

Additional medical clinics will be held in the halls of residence this evening and tomorrow.

Regional registrar Dr Sandi Shillington says the extra cleaning and sanitising measures will be maintained until at least Monday, with extra staff remaining on campus all weekend.

“I want to thank staff, particularly the halls community group staff and those from the medical centre who worked long hours yesterday and are again on-site today to ensure students are cared for – everyone is doing everything they can. The exam supervision team has also worked hard to ensure that students showing any indication of being unwell are directed to the quarantine exam room.“

Robust sanitation measures are in place both for the quarantine exam room and the surrounding building, to prevent any spread of the illness, and exam supervisors are also taking precautions to protect their health and that of others.

Massey staff have been taking advice from the Medical Officer of Health Dr Patrick O’Connor in dealing with the gastroenteritis, and has also implemented it’s own action plan. It is not known what has caused the outbreak, but samples have been sent for testing with some results expected early next week.

Exams are underway on campus, both today and on Monday. Well students are able to continue as usual, while provision has been made for unwell students who wish to sit exams to do so in a separate building. Students who are very unwell are being advised of the processes in place for impaired performance consideration or Aegrotat.

Any student who is uncertain about arrangements can call 0800 Massey for an update.


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