Friday, September 12, 2008

Bnei Brak, Israel - Virus Continues To Rage At Ponovezh, Rosh Yeshiva Tells Sick Boys To Go Home

A virus spread rapidly through the Ponovezh Yeshiva this week, forcing hundreds of boys to leave their studies and take to their beds, with symptoms such as sore throats and a generally weakened condition [original story HERE]. Apparently, a disproportionately large number of students who took ill are first year students who have just recently begun learning in the Yeshiva, although sick students have been found throughout the Yeshiva.

On Thursday afternoon, several students fainted right in the middle of Davening Mincha, and were taken to the hospital. Last night, another student took took a turn for the worse while learning in the Beis Medrash; Hatzolah was called, and after working on him on location, took him away to the hospital.

Several doctors who examined students at the Yeshiva stated that the virus is extremely rare, and is almost never seen in Israel. They also warned that is extremely contagious and it is thus not surprising that it has spread so fast at the Yeshiva.

"Upon consultation with expert medical advice, R' Gershon has ruled that all Bachurim who have been infected and are not feeling well should leave the Yeshiva immediately."

Heading into Shabbos, the Beis Medrash was noticeably emptier than usual. After the Rosh Yeshiva's ruling, the dormitory emptied out somewhat and the difference became noticeable there as well.

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