An outbreak at an elementary school in Nevada caused “projectile vomiting” for approximately 130 students. Despite the mass vomiting event happening more than a week ago, parents are still searching for answers as to what exactly made their children be so violently sick.
On Jan. 27, there was an illness that caused nausea for 130 students at the Wayne N. Tanaka Elementary School in Las Vegas.
One parent, Danielle Farrow, said, “A teacher said it was ‘like Armageddon.’ Our daughter said there were trash cans lined up and kids just throwing up everywhere.”
Another parent, who did not want to be identified, said her 9-year-old daughter had a stomach ache and threw up “five or six times” last Thursday night.
“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,” the anonymous mother said of her daughter in the fourth grade.
The Clark County School District and Southern Nevada Health District have not specifically identified the cause of the outbreak, but suspect it is a gastrointestinal illness.
A Southern Nevada Health District spokesperson told KLAS-TV, “During a foodborne illness outbreak, people are interviewed about what they ate before they got sick when possible food contamination is confirmed using epidemiological and laboratory information.”
The spokesperson added, “Gastrointestinal illnesses can have many causes.”
The school district sent an email to parents on Monday, “The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) is investigating the cause of the gastrointestinal illnesses reported by several of the students at Tanaka. Sick people should not prepare food or care for others.”
“Gastrointestinal viruses are common and easily spread from person-to-person. Symptoms usually develop 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to the virus,” the email read. “Most people will get better within one to three days without medical treatment. Young children, older adults, and people with other medical conditions may be at higher risk for complications, such as dehydration. The most common symptoms include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Additional symptoms may include fever, headache, and body aches.”
The email stated, “We are currently working with the Clark County School District Health Services Department and SNHD on implementing measures to prevent further illness.”
One parent said her sick daughter ate food at the school cafeteria on Thursday. Another parent said their child was not sick and did not eat food served at the school.
The anonymous mother said she feels as though parents have been left in the dark about the mysterious outbreak.
“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,” the mother 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.”
The school district said Wayne N. Tanaka Elementary School underwent a “thorough cleaning” and that the “staff continue to reinforce good hygiene practices on campus.”
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