Nearly 50 Georgetown University students report similar gastrointestinal illness; cause unknown

Nearly 50 Georgetown University students have reported similar symptoms associated with an unknown gastrointestinal illness. 

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"We are continuing to monitor reported cases with symptoms fitting the GI illness on Main Campus. We have seen a decrease in reporting of active illness in the last 16 hours. As of 9 AM this morning, DC Health has collected 42 surveys from students reporting symptoms," officials said in a statement Thursday.  

University officials say they are working with DC Health and continuing to monitor the students and their symptoms to determine the cause of these cases and how they may be connected. Officials believe the cases are likely due to an infectious organism, but do not appear to be related to COVID-19 or influenza (flu).

Stool samples are being collected to determine potential pathogens and preliminary information indicates that the illness is not caused by person-to-person transmission. 

According to the University, most of the students are reporting short-lived symptoms and none have been hospitalized. 

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Officials say they are maintaining additional health and safety procedures, including increasing cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas in residence halls and dining spaces. They have also removed pre-packaged and pre-washed food items that are commonly associated with foodborne illnesses from dining facilities. 

"Our Care Navigators are continuing to provide outreach to affected individuals and our Student Affairs team is providing additional support."

Check back with FOX 5 for updates on this developing story.