Images of children lined up outside a Las Vegas school, each equipped with trashcans to catch the content of their stomachs they were projectile vomiting, had to be concerning for parents, but an even more troubling factor is that there have been few answers.
A gastrointestinal illness outbreak infected an estimated 130 students at Wayne N. Tanaka Elementary School last Friday, and officials with the Clark County School District (CCSD) and Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) have still not said what caused the incident, according to 8 News Now.
On Monday, Principal Tony Davis sent parents an email suggesting that “gastrointestinal viruses” may have played a hand in a scene that one teacher reportedly said was “like the apocalypse.”
“The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) is investigating the cause of the gastrointestinal illnesses reported by several of the students at Tanaka. We are currently working with the Clark County School District Health Services Department and SNHD on implementing measures to prevent further illness,” the email said.
“Several” equating to 130 children, in this case.
After explaining that gastrointestinal viruses are common and easily spread from person-to-person, parents were told that “regular and appropriate handwashing is one of the most effective prevention methods” in reducing the spread and that sick people “should not prepare food or care for others.”
Parents Jon and Danielle Farrow picked up their child from the school on Friday, unaware of what had happened earlier in the day and they told the CBS affiliate that a teacher offered a graphic depiction of what took place.
“Our student’s teacher told us that it was like the apocalypse,” Jon explained. His wife added, “A teacher said it was like Armageddon. Our daughter said there were trash cans lined up and kids just throwing up everywhere.”
A mother who identified herself only as “Joyce” told 8 News Now that her 9-year-old daughter came home from school Thursday feeling just fine, before getting sick the next day.
“It wasn’t until overnight when she was sleeping that she started having a stomach ache, and then she threw up about five to six times overnight,” Joyce said, noting that her daughter ate in the school cafeteria on Thursday.
Another child who does not eat from the cafeteria reportedly did not fall ill.
“I don’t know if they have all the information present as to what happened, but I wish that we did have more constant updates as to what’s going on,” Joyce said. “At the end of the day, we don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know how to help them. I mean, if kids are a priority, then we need to know what’s going on so we can help our children.”
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