Sickness Spreads Throughout Fredericktown

Sickness Spreads Throughout Fredericktown
By: Wendy Ray

Fredericktown, MO - There are now 37 confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis, a diarrheal disease that's very contagious. We first told you Monday there were 30 cases of it, but as the number of cases rise so do caregivers' emotions who cannot believe their children are starting school with this disease spreading throughout town.

Linda Looney's grandsons Brian, Bryce, and Blaine tested positive for cryptosporidiosis about a week ago. They're just now getting over it. "Especially Bryce, he had the common things, diarrhea, sick to his stomach, cramping," Linda says. School starts Thursday and Linda's worried now they'll get sick all over again. "Our concern was, if they went back to school, kids who have not been tested, are they going to get this all over again. If someone comes to school and has the same symptoms, but the symptoms have not been caught," she says.

Superintendent Kelly Burlison says the school district has things under control, taking the proper precautions. Everything has been cleaned from top to bottom. Water fountains have been shut off in fear the disease could be easily spread on the fountains. Bottled water will be on hand and teachers will be in the bathrooms, making sure all little hands are clean.

A memo was given to parents at an open house Wednesday night letting them know what the school is doing, along with what parents can do to protect their children. "You've never considered calling school off for a few days," we ask Dr. Burlison. "We've talked about it to the health department and the hospital and they think what we're doing is all we can do and what we're doing will be effective," he says. Dr. Burlison's still concerned though. "We always worry. We worry with everything, but we feel like we've done every precaution possible," he says.

Students in Fredericktown will be allowed to enter school if they haven't had symptoms in 24 hours. Dr. Burlison adds that the schools will be disinfected throughout the day. C

hildren who do have cryptosporidiosis and have to call in sick will not be counted for any sick days they take.