Lice outbreak at gym just a rumor, UConn Recreation says

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UConn Rec Center. (file photo/The Daily Campus)

A rumor regarding a lice infestation at the university Rec Center is false, according to University of Connecticut Recreation Executive Director Cynthia Costanzo.

The rumor started in a post on the UConn Subreddit page on Tuesday. Costanzo said there has not been any kind of valid report of lice in any area of the recreation facility.

“No lice outbreak has been reported or observed,” Costanzo said.

University spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said health records were scanned after the rumor first broke and that no evidence was found of an outbreak.

“We checked our records from the start of February through today, and have received no reports from students about lice in university facilities or requests for treatment at Student Health Services,” Reitz said.

On Wednesday, a student at the university posted a thread on Reddit regarding the rumor. Numerous students followed suit with gossip they heard regarding the supposed outbreak.

“Been hearing rumors of a lice outbreak at the gym and other public places on campus,” the unidentified student wrote. “Is there any truth to this?”

A commenter said that they heard a similar rumor from a recreation center student employee. Another commenter expressed dismay at the possibility of the outbreak at the gym.

“I just went to the gym today before reading this,” the second commenter wrote. “Anyone know the best way to check for lice? Kinda getting bugged out by all this lice talk.”

Another student commented on a second post saying they were also told by an employee that there was a lice outbreak, but that the location was not specified.

“It was not clear to me if they meant specifically in the gym or on campus overall,” the student wrote. “So just do not use the gym until they clean it.”

Sarah Grant, a second-semester biological sciences major, said it is still important to be careful about lice because of its ability to be passed on quickly.

“It is dangerous because something like lice can easily spread to every dorm building, to every classroom and every student off of a few carriers,” Grant said. “We need to be vigilant.”

Lice tends to infect numerous people rapidly, especially on college campuses where living and learning quarters are in close proximity. Huntington University in Indiana experienced its own outbreak in 2012, which affected at least four on-campus dormitories, according to HuffPost.

“It is a real head scratcher for sure,” eighth-semester human development and family studies major Nick Harriau said.


Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. They can be reached via email at taylor.harton@uconn.edu.

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