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6 Schools Experience a Sudden Outbreak of an Unknown Illness..

Alcott Elementary School – Hastings, Nebraska – 80 People Ill (Oct 28th 2011)

Cleaning crews spent part of the weekend cleaning a Hastings elementary school after more than 80 students came down with flu like symptoms on Friday.

A number of students called out sick. Does this mean the flu has hit the Tri-Cities?

Unofficially, experts think the students suffered from the Norovirus, otherwise known as the stomach flu rather than the influenza virus. The Norovirus is highly contagious and given the close quarters in school, it did spread fast.

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Gibbs High School – Knoxville, Tennessee – 3 People Ill (Nov 1st 2011)

Three ill students at Gibbs High School were taken to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Tuesday afternoon, according to Knox County school officials.

Spokeswoman Melissa Copelan says the district doesn’t know what caused the students to become sick and doesn’t have any information about their conditions.

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Joy Elementary School – Sioux City, Iowa – 85 People Ill (Nov 2nd 2011)

More than 85 children at Joy Elementary in Sioux City were out sick Wednesday. Superintendent Paul Gausman says they aren’t seeing this at other schools within the district.

He says they will be contacting all parents at the school to address the issue. Many students are experiencing flu like symptoms, but it’s unclear what is causing them to be sick.

Gausman says they’re disinfecting the building and watching the numbers closely.

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Platte River Elementary School – Benzie County, Michigan – 100 People Ill (Nov 2nd 2011)

A virus in a local school has infected more than a hundred students and health officials have been called in. Dozens of students were out of class Thursday at Platte River Elementary School in Benzie County. “Everybody had the same symptoms, it was a stomach virus, vomiting, and they were just feeling lousy,” said Cook.

The school has 310 students. Wednesday, more than 100 missed school, and Thursday, 80 stayed home sick. Benzie-Leelanau County Health Department investigated the at-first mysterious illness, and officials say Norovirus is extremely contagious and can be spread by air, surface, food, and water.

The school sent home a health department letter tonight warning parents of the illness and encouraging parents to keep their sick children at home. It also encourages a stay away from school for 72 hours after they feel better. The entire school has been completely disinfected.

“It’s just so contagious even the best efforts sometimes don’t cause positive results,” said Crawford.

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St. John Central High School – Belmont County, Ohio – 14 People Ill (Nov 3rd 2011)

A principal and 13 students were treated at local hospitals after a becoming ill at a Belmont County high school.

Initially, officials thought the students became ill from a natural gas leak, but Columbia Gas workers said there were no signs of a leak. And as of 5 p.m., it was still unknown what made people at St. John Central High School sick.

Belmont County emergency dispatchers said they initially received reports that several people at the school were suffering from headaches, eye irritation, vomiting and nausea.

“Emergency responders immediately conducted tests and determined there were no elevated levels of natural gas or carbon monoxide in the structure Thursday,” stated a news release from Pat DeFrancis, director of communications for the Diocese of Steubenville.

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Barnett Stadium – Houston, Texas – 23 People Ill (Nov 4th 2011)

Nearly two dozen people fell ill at a high school football game Friday night in southeast Houston.

All 22 Austin High School students who were taken to hospitals Friday had returned home and were recovering Saturday. No students were hospitalized overnight.

Officials said it happened just after halftime, shortly before 9pm. Part of the stadium had to be evacuated while a decontamination zone was set up for sick students.

Symptoms included nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, coughing and a scratchy throat.

One firefighter was also treated, but was OK and we’re told he drove some of the patients to the hospital.

On Saturday, the HazMat team again reported no readings on any monitors for any substance at the scene. Tests for chemicals in the air and on the students’ band instruments also came back negative.

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