- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2012

A sudden outbreak of illness in a group of teens and young adults staying at George Mason University is under investigation.

Out of a summer camp group of more than 80 students from around the country, nearly half were affected, said Glen Barbour, Fairfax County Health Department public safety information officer.

The sickness is suspected to be a type of viral gastroenteritis, Mr. Barbour said. Lab reports have been requested for confirmation.

It was likely not foodborne, but instead seems to have been passed person to person, Mr. Barbour said.

Students were admitted to urgent care Thursday morning, but have since been released, said Mr. Barbour. He said this type of illness usually resolves itself over a couple days.

Most of the students had traveled back to their hometowns by Thursday afternoon, when the camp ended. George Mason University had already begun taking measures to clean areas the students might have contaminated.

This type of illness is transmitted with dirty hands, and “while there’s no imminent public health threat, … we always recommend that people wash their hands, stay home and keep themselves away from people when they’re sick,” said Mr. Barbour.

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