Gastro outbreak at university colleges hits 20 students during orientation week

A Queensland university has suffered a gastro outbreak with 21 students living in on-campus accommodation struck down with the illness during O-Week.

Metro North Public Health Unit confirmed there were 19 cases of gastroenteritis at the University of Queensland's Kings College and two at Grace College, the week before classes officially start.

They have since been separated from other students to avoid the infection spreading.

"All students have been placed in separate accommodation to try to limit any infection of other students," Metro North's Dr James Smith said in a statement.



Students living in colleges at the University of Queensland have been struck down with gastro during their orientation week. Source: Getty

The Metro North Hospital and Health Service’s public health unit has begun testing to determine the cause of the gastro.

“Symptoms of gastro typically present between 24 to 48 hours, but they can appear as early as 12 hours after exposure,” Dr Smith added.

Earlier this month more than 50 students at a prestigious Gold Coast private school also fell ill with a gastro bug.

The students, mostly boarders, fell ill on Thursday, forcing the school to set up beds isolated from the rest of the school population.

"More than 50 students at The Southport School have been impacted with symptoms including vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea," Gold Coast Public Health Unit's Dr Anu Anuradha said in a statement.

None required hospitalisation and all were expected to recover within the next 24 to 48 hours.

The Southport School's dean of boarding, Tony Watt, praised Queensland Health for its advice in helping the school handle the outbreak.

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