Hundreds of toff students at Oxford University have been struck down with suspected food poisoning after attending a high-society ball.
The undergraduates complained of experiencing sickness and diarrhoea just days after the boozy Mansfield College Ball on Saturday February 2.
University chiefs have ordered an investigation into the outbreak after dozens of students failed to turn up for seminars and lectures while they recovered.
The outbreak was deemed so serious that the Environment Health have ordered students to see their GPs and have bodily samples to find the cause of the outbreak.
Mansfield Ball President Anna Ploszajski said: “We have had reports from a minority of students of virus-like effects like vomiting and diarrhoea.
“There have been allegations of food poisoning.
“It appears to be the seafood bar that has come under questioning.
“Mansfield College are carrying out a full investigation into the possible cause of the illness and until the investigation is complete, I am unable to offer a suggestion as to what has brought on the symptoms.
“This unfortunate incident should not, and will not, belittle the achievement of what has been the culmination of almost two years of preparation.
“The event has consistently been trumpeted as unquestionably the most successful ball in Mansfield’s history.”
Junior Dean Claire Palmer emailed students last week, stating: “We have had a number of reports regarding students (Main Site and Off-site) feeling unwell with a suspected virus.”
“The College has been in contact with the Environmental Health and Public Health Authorities.
“Environmental Health has requested that all students who have experienced symptoms in the last few days contact their GPs so that samples can be taken (and the guilty organisms readily identified).”
Founded in 1838, Mansfield College is one of the oldest constituent colleges in Oxford with 375 undergraduates, graduates and visiting scholars.
Past students include MP Chris Bryant and BBC presenter and investigative journalist Justin Rowlatt.