LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Several Las Vegas elementary students went home sick last week due to an illness, the Clark County School District confirmed Monday.
Numerous students at Wayne N. Tanaka Elementary school were throwing up and sent home, according to a source close to the school. This source added that roughly 130 students were simultaneously vomiting.
8 News Now has requested an official count of the students who fell ill from CCSD and has not heard back yet.
The Southern Nevada Health District confirmed that it is continuing to investigate what was reportedly a gastrointestinal illness outbreak.
“We are aware of reports of children getting ill and are working with the school to investigate the matter,” an SNHD spokesperson said.
It is what the school did not say, however, that parents continue to ponder days later.
Jon and Danielle Farrow, for example, picked up their child from the school Friday afternoon unaware of what happened hours prior.
“Our student’s teacher told us that it was like the apocalypse,” Jon said while driving his family off campus Monday morning.
“A teacher said it was like Armageddon. Our daughter said there were trash cans lined up and kids just throwing up everywhere,” Danielle added while sitting in the passenger seat.
Their child, in the backseat, detailed how their class of 20 students was cut to nearly half by the end of the day by classmates experiencing symptoms and going home.
In an email to parents, Principal Tony Davis said they were working with CCSD and SNHD “on implementing measures to prevent further illness,” but did not detail the timeline of when students started to show sickness and how many were impacted.
The following message was sent to Tanaka Elementary parents sometime last week, according to CCSD. It has not been confirmed which day the students became sick.
Dear Tanaka Parents/Guardians,
As always, we want to keep you informed of important issues happening within our school community.
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.
Gastrointestinal viruses are common and easily spread from person-to-person. Symptoms usually develop 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to the virus. 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.
Regular and appropriate handwashing is one of the most effective prevention methods for reducing the spread of gastrointestinal illness and other illnesses. People who are ill, or caring for someone who is ill, should wash their hands carefully with soap and water before, during, and after preparing food. Sick people should not prepare food or care for others. Hands should be dried with disposable paper towels. Hands should always be washed after using the toilet, changing diapers, or washing soiled clothes or bedding. It is important to incorporate routine, proper hand hygiene to reduce the spread of illness. Persons who are experiencing symptoms of gastrointestinal illness should stay home from school for 48 hours after symptoms have stopped. Seek care from your licensed health care provider if symptoms persist.
Hard, non-porous surfaces that have been contaminated by an ill person should be cleaned and then disinfected immediately with a chlorine bleach solution made by adding 5-25 tablespoons of household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite) to one gallon of water. For more information regarding common gastrointestinal illness, please contact your health care provider or the SNHD office of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance.Message sent to parents at Wayne N. Tanaka Elementary School