BY MEGAN MANN-PEREZ | SCVNEWS.COM
At least 17 CalArts students at became ill by Wednesday, according to reports from students, in an incident that’s under investigation by the Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health.
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A number of Cal Arts students are reportedly experiencing “gastrointestinal, flu-like” symptoms, according to Margaret Crane, Cal Arts media relations manager.
The school is trying to find out where the illness originated and investigating the cafeteria on campus, Crane said.
People started to become ill on Tuesday, and then the school invited health agencies to investigate the situation.
Several students who reported their illness were tested by health officials, and the school expects to have those results within four to five days, Crane said.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials are investigating the cause of the illnesses, according to Bonnie Powell, Director of Communications for Bon Appetite, the food services management company that operates the kitchen at the Valencia art school’s campus.
Public Health officials said their investigation was in its preliminary phase, and they planned to release a statement soon.
One student, who asked to remain anonymous, said the illnesses began shortly after an event known as “Chef’s Day” in the school’s cafeteria.
Numerous reports from CalArts students on Facebook describe illness and concerns about the food.
Powell suggested it might be norovirus, but officials at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital have not yet confirmed an outbreak of the highly contagious illness.
Norovirus can be spread by an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces, according to the Centers for Disease Control website.
The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed, known as acute gastroenteritis.
This can cause stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea and to throw up, according to the site.
Bon Appétit Management Company is an onsite restaurant company that provides café and catering services to corporations, colleges and universities and specialty venues.
It has more than 500 locations in 32 states.
Perry Smith contributed to this report.
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Source: Santa Clarita News