Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) shut down its Danbury campus today as the school grapples with a mysterious illness that has impacted its student body.
“Since the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff are of our utmost concern, Western Connecticut State University will be closed Monday, April 23, in response to the illness that has affected approximately 100 students,” WCSU President John B. Clark said in a statement published this morning. “Although we are aware of a limited number of affected students, based on our discussions with the Connecticut Department of Health, the Danbury Department of Health, Danbury Hospital and the WCSU Director of Health Services, we have decided this is the best and most conservative course of action to protect our university community from infection and spread of the disease.”
Students began falling ill on Thursday and Friday with virus-like symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea. After investigating the situation the school was not able to determine the cause or source of the illness.
Over the weekend, cleaning crews sanitized the school’s common areas, and Clark asked students who became ill to wait for 72 hours to pass after recovering before returning. The mystery illness is not believed to be connected to last week’s national E. coli outbreak, which was sourced to romaine lettuce from southwest Arizona. There were only two reported cases of E. coli illness in Connecticut, and neither was in the greater Danbury area.