An outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in University of Limerick (UL), Ireland, has come to light, with the institute sending out official emails to its students about the issue. The email sent to students by the Student Health Centre in UL, at 4:37 pm on Wednesday, December 14, confirms about the outbreak of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia on campus. See image below.
According to most recent reports of the university, there have been 97 cases of Gonorrhea in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary counties in 2016, out of which 14 such cases (13.44%) are associated with the UL campus.
Students at the University of Limerick have posted screenshots of the email sent to them on Twitter, with a #studyabroad, expressing concern about their health and well-being at the university. Crystal Michael, a current student at UL has tweeted “It’s time to go back home”, while another student, Thomas Lincoln from Cork University in Ireland, has joked about the possibility of an American student in Ireland being the root cause of the outbreak. While the university has stated in the email that it will conduct investigations and treatments to contain the outbreak, students from the university have expressed their skepticism over the same.
On the other hand, an alumnus of UL, Peter Pierce has appreciated the move by the university to tackle the issue rather than expelling students with the disease.” Dr Bernadette Walsh, Director of Student Services at UL, said, “The Student Health Centre had been proactively screening for STDs and that the email may account for the increased levels of detection. We take the well-being of our students very seriously. The health of all students is paramount. Therefore, we would advise any student who may have a concern about any element of their mental or physical health to seek appropriate medical treatment.” University of Limerick is working closely with the HSE following the identification of an increase in the number of students presenting with Gonorrhea and/or Chlamydia to the UL Student Health Centre. In the past decade, Ireland government has been concerned with an increase in the cases of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, especially in universities where 10% of these cases are detected. UL is one of the few universities that has made an official confirmation about the issue and is taking measures to contain it.