16 Dutch students hospitalized in Italy with unknown virus

Sixteen Dutch students were hospitalized in the Italian city of Milan to be treated for an unknown virus. All of them have since been discharged. It is not yet known what caused the students to fall ill, team leader Stephan Wiele of the Amsterdam Wood- and Furnishing College said to NU.nl.

On Monday morning 110 students and 11 supervisors left Amsterdam with to buses to visit the Salone del Mobile interior design fair. The first health problems presented themselves on Tuesday evening. In total about 30 students and four supervisors suffered symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea and fever. 16 were hospitalized for treatment, 13 of whom were discharged again quickly. The other three have also now left the hospital.

Reports in Italian media suggested that the students contracted food poisoning in a Dutch restaurant just before their trip to Italy. But according to Wiele, this is not true. "The students did not get sick from food  poisoning, but we don't now what the cause is", he said to the newspaper. "It could be that a student who carried the virus got on the bus and spread it, but that is purely speculation."

Everything is now back to normal for the students, Wiele said. "It was a very scary moment, but the atmosphere in the group is good now. The students are having fun." They will be returning to Amsterdam on Monday.