Mohawk College students are asking whether an outbreak similar to the one that recently hit Humber College could happen here. The norovirus outbreak at Humber sickened over 200 students with flu-like symptoms.
“My friends at Humber became extremely ill and one of them actually had to be hospitalized,” said Mohawk College student Ryan Ryu.
Colleges around the GTA are being asked what they are doing in the wake of the norovirus outbreak at Humber. Jay Robb, Mohawk College’s director of communications, said the school is taking precautions but wouldn’t have handled an outbreak any differently.
“As always we keep close tabs on potential outbreaks among our students, faculty and staff,” said Robb. Robb also adds that no outbreaks similar to the one at Humber have happened at Mohawk in more than a decade.
But many students and parents remain concerned as to what would happen if Mohawk were to have an outbreak and what it would take for a post-secondary institution to shut down after an outbreak.
“We’d work closely with the City of Hamilton’s public health department and take our direction from public health officials,” explained Robb. “The health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff would remain our first priority.”
“We would do our best to keep the college open while containing a norovirus outbreak,” said Robb. “Infected students would be asked to stay home or in their residence, we’d close down all self-serve food areas and open-food items like salad bars and we’d also step up environmental cleaning and actively encourage all students, faculty, staff and visitors to take steps to prevent the spread of the virus.”
Some students at Mohawk are checking into the medical centre to see if they might have caught the virus visiting friends from Humber.
“I was scared that I might have caught the virus after my head and stomach were hurting and so I went to the health centre immediately,” said Shay Marie, a student at the college. “Thankfully I didn’t have the virus and we are able to check at the health center if we have any medical concerns.”
Medical practitioners at the health centre say the norovirus is a common stomach flu, but people should not hesitate to get themselves checked.
“Stomach flu is quite common and doesn’t last long,” said Brittany Galan, an osteopath and clinic manager at Mohawk. “However in cases such as an outbreak, it is safe to take necessary precautions and never leave anything to chance.”