Classes Canceled Due to Sickness

Classes Canceled Due to Sickness
By:  Wendy Ray
Kelso, MO -- There's no school for students at Kelso C-7 in New Hamburg Wednesday and Thursday because nearly half of them are sick. The school is struggling with some sort of stomach illness. It spread quickly and no one knows exactly what's causing it.
The desks in the Kelso C-7 school are empty Wednesday, but superintendent David Newell says it was pretty hectic Tuesday. "About 8:30 a.m. the first one called and they were sick, and then every few minutes they were vomiting, one needing to go home. They would be feeling good then 10 minutes later they would be vomiting," Newell says.
41 of the school's 112 students and half of the teachers are sick. Even Newell has caught what's going around. Vomiting is the main symptom. Some students also have diarrhea and a low grade fever, but exactly what is causing all the commotion is still unknown.
The Scott County Health Department isn't taking this lightly. Karen Evans with the health department is going to a sick child's home and taking a sample of his vomit. The sample will be sent to the state health lab to find out what exactly is causing the students to be so sick.
In the meantime Newell has had the school checked out to rule out gas or carbon monoxide. He's also checked to see if all the sick students have anything in common. "Did they eat breakfast or did they eat a school lunch. I was looking for something in common and there isn't anything," Newell says.
Newell is taking advice from the health department on what he should do next. "Cleaning, disinfecting, wash down the door knobs with bleach and water. Also the staff and students should stay vomit free for 24 hours.
Karen Evans with the Scott County Health Department says it might be a viral illness. Sample results should be back in the next day or two.