Student Health issues health advisory on stomach illnesses

The Tranquada Center, a white building with a red roof.
Student Health Services is warning students to take precautions to avoid stomach illnesses. (Jojo Sanders • The Student Life)

As flu season picks up, Student Health Services is warning students to take precautions to avoid the bout of stomach illnesses hitting the Claremont Colleges.

SHS has recently treated several students with symptoms of gastrointestinal illness, which resembles the “stomach flu,” according to a health advisory email SHS sent to students Friday. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps, and can begin one or two days after exposure or as early as 12 hours after exposure.

The email advised students to thoroughly wash their hands with warm water, avoid sharing utensils or cups with others, disinfect communal areas and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer to avoid getting sick.

It further instructed students in contact with someone who is sick to avoid contact with bodily fluids, to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, to clean and disinfect all surfaces immediately with a bleach-based cleaner, to flush bodily fluids down the toilet, to dispose of food contaminated by a sick person and to remove and wash all clothing or sheets that have been contaminated.

Pomona College also said it’s taking further steps to mitigate health risks.

Frank Dining Hall and Oldenborg Dining Hall underwent a specialized deep cleaning for norovirus, rhinovirus and HIV-1, according to an email from Dining Services General Manager Jose Martinez to students Monday.

The cleaning was part of “preventative precautions,” Martinez said in an email to TSL. He said he did not have knowledge of any confirmed cases of norovirus — a severe stomach illness — or any other virus.

All Pomona dining halls also added a stronger hand sanitizer effective against norovirus, HIV-1 and other bacteria and viruses, added additional hand sanitizer containers, trained staff in handwashing and added staff to allow more frequent cleaning, Martinez said.

Frank and Oldenborg were specifically cleaned and sanitized because — unlike Frary — they have carpets, which could hold viruses and bacteria that spread contagious diseases, Martinez said. Frary Dining Hall was also cleaned but was easier and faster because it does not have carpeting.

Any student who feels sick can stop by SHS or call to schedule an appointment at 909-621-8222.

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