Over one hundred students have asked for treatment from Student Health Services for a mysterious rash appearing on the back of their legs.
“I didn’t know if they were mosquito bites, I didn’t know what they were, but something was extremely itchy on the back of my leg,” stated senior Amanda White.
She is among many students who have complained about this rash. Many believed they got the rash from wooden benches on the southbound side of the Cecil B. Moore subway stop. Temple Sophomore Peter Stetcer stated, “It’s just from sitting on the benches down by the subway, people get up and they immediately have what they think look like bug bites on them.”
SEPTA responded after it received multiple complaints about the issue and spokesperson Jerri William said, “We went to the bench in question, looked to see if there way any type of infestation or anything like that. We didn’t see anything bu we did power wash it and we did treat it.”
Temple SHS says that this is a case of “contact dermatitis” which has similar symptoms to poison ivy. Mark Denys, Senior Administrator at SHS, says it’s hard to pinpoint the source of the rash and that “There’s been inconsistent presentations and inconsistent histories. It’s not as if every single person with this has sat in the exact same place.”
SEPTA has replaced the wooden benches with metal ones, which is a surface where bugs and bacteria can not survive on.
Amanda White is “happy SEPTA has made some changes” and hopes “we can get down to the bottom of this.” Although SEPTA doesn’t believe they were part of the problem, they’re happy to be part of a solution. Temple University Hospital has seen no reports of a problem like the cases seen at Temple University.
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