Over a hundred elementary students in Las Vegas affected by gastrointestinal illness outbreak suspected to be caused by norovirus
More than a hundred schoolchildren at Wayne N. Tanaka Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada were seen vomiting simultaneously
, spitting out their stomach contents in trash cans and the toilet bowls of the school.
According to a report from KLAS-TV
, worried parents of the affected students want answers from the school board after the gastrointestinal illness
swept through the school, to the horror of teachers and school staff.
"A teacher said it was like Armageddon," concerned parent Danielle Farrow told KLAS-TV
. "Our daughter said there were trash cans lined up and kids just throwing up everywhere."
Jon Farrow, Danielle's husband, said: "Our student's teacher told us that it was like the apocalypse."
The outbreak wasn't an act of terror, but likely a case of mass food poisoning. Some students who were initially unaffected felt the effects when they were already at home. A mother, who didn't want to be identified, told KLAS-TV
in a phone interview her daughter was fine upon arrival only to suffer stomach ache in her sleep and throw up five to six times overnight.
Contaminated food from the school cafeteria likely to have triggered the mass vomiting
The majority of the parents suspected that contaminated food from the school cafeteria was the culprit behind the mass vomiting and demanded transparency and answers from the school administrators, who were also caught off-guard by the incident.
In an email to the worried parents, Wayne N. Tanaka Principal Tony Davis said the school is coordinating with the Clark County School District Health Services Department and the Southern Nevada Health District to know the root cause of the gastrointestinal illnesses and prevent a repeat of the incident. (Related: Nearly 100 hospitalized following consumption of Daily Harvest vegan product.)
The parents' suspicion turned out to be justified. According to preliminary lab results of the samples submitted, the likely culprit was norovirus
– a stomach bug otherwise known as the winter vomiting disease.
Described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) as highly contagious and fast-mutating, the norovirus can spread through direct contact with an infected person, the consumption of contaminated food or water, touching contaminated surfaces and putting unwashed hands into the mouth. Its symptoms develop 12 to 48 hours after exposure.
The most common symptoms are vomiting, stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea. Some victims may also experience headaches, fever and body aches.
Non-fatal, the norovirus recovery period varies from 24 to 72 hours, even without medical treatment for those who are not immunocompromised. All they need is to rest and rehydrate.
Of course, the Wayne Tanaka incident isn't an isolated case.
Last October, approximately a thousand students of Stafford High School in Fredricks, Virginia went absent for a day, with many complaining of flu-like and gastrointestinal symptoms
. According to Sandra Osborn, chief communications officer for Stafford County Public Schools, those who went ill represented nearly half of the school's 2,100 students.
What's disconcerting about the Wayne Tanaka norovirus outbreak
was it involved young children – pre-kindergarten up to fifth graders – who are vulnerable to infections.
Watch the video below to learn about the norovirus outbreak in the United Kingdom. Norovirus was described as a non-fatal distant cousin of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19)
This video is from The Sword & Shield channel on Brighteon.com
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