Mystery Stomach Virus Sickens Nearly 200 Students at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania

In this Sept. 3, 2013, photo, people walk onto the campus at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. J.D. Salinger spent only one semester at the college outside Philadelphia, but he left a big impression. A scholarship in his honor allows promising creative writers to live in his dorm room. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
In this Sept. 3, 2013, photo, people walk onto the campus at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. J.D. Salinger spent only one semester at the college outside Philadelphia, but he left a big impression. A scholarship in his honor allows promising creative writers to live in his dorm room. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A mystery stomach virus has struck nearly 200 students at a small college in Pennsylvania, and the evidence seems to point to the campus dining hall.

Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., reported at least 174 students are ill with an outbreak of a gastrointestinal ailment that causes prolonged bouts of vomiting. The illness first broke out among the students on Tuesday night.

Paul Doghramji with the school’s health service told CBS Philly the exact cause remains unknown, “but one apparent common thread is that every sickened student appears to have eaten at the on-campus dining hall.”

People are dropping like flies. I am one of them. The Ursinus Plague is real. Run for the hills before it’s too late. #ursinusplague
— Rob (@Dewbie_Brotha) February 11, 2016

Ursinus, a suburban campus of 1,600 some 30 miles outside of Philadelphia, closed its dining halls while Montgomery County Health Department officials scour the campus kitchens for the virulent culprit.

At least 22 students have sought treatment at local hospitals and urgent care centers.

Classes were held as planned Thursday morning, but afternoon and Friday classes are canceled.

Ursinus College “continues to take proactive measures in conjunction with Montgomery County Health Department (MCHD) officials to investigate and address (the) outbreak,” according to an email MCHD sent to USA TODAY College.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Michael Schramm