UPDATED: Estimated 200 Humber College students sick, say officials

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Toronto paramedics responded to calls from a Humber College dorm on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. An estimated 30 students were taken to hospital. (Photo: Eugenio Garro/QEW South Post)

BY EUGENIO GARRO

At least 200 Humber College students are sick, officials confirmed Saturday, following a mysterious outbreak initially sending 30 people to hospital.
Students are being asked to stay home if they’re feeling sick or felt sick last week – and not return until they’ve been symptom-free for 48 hours. They’re also being asked to fill out a public health survey; the cause is still unclear.
“We are encouraging students to practice good hand hygiene and to take care of themselves,” dean of students Jen McMillen told reporters Friday.
“We have connected with Toronto Public Health in terms of getting any advice from them in terms of next steps.”
Emergency crews were sent to the north campus at Humber College Blvd., near Hwy. 27 and Finch Ave. W., around 9:30 p.m. Thursday for suspected food poisoning.
That’s just east of Mississauga’s Westwood area.
“We had a number of residence students who were feeling unwell, with symptoms including vomiting and stomach abdominal pain,” McMillen said.

Roughly 77 cases were reported, with 30 students treated and released from hospital Friday.
Evan Moss is one of them.
“I have no idea — I just kept getting sick and became really dehydrated from vomiting and diarrhea,” said Moss.
“The doctors weren’t even sure.”
Abbie Lawrie also lives in residence.
“People were kind of frantic,” said Lawrie.
“I was just scared I was going to catch whatever it was.”

Some students say they believe the illnesses are linked to dinner being served at the residence buffet, where chicken and fried fish were on the menu.
But Giulia Zanardi says she didn’t eat and is currently down with the flu.
“They were giving people gloves and masks for whoever went into the hallway,” said Zanardi.
“They told us to stay in our rooms.”
McMillen says staff are on hand to help sick students and food is still being served at the college since no official cause has been determined.

@EGarro_

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