Holmen school sees ‘stomach bug’ outbreak, cancels conferences

An outbreak of the stomach bug. otherwise known as gastro-intestinal illness. has spread to more than 50 students at a school in Holmen. TAKE INTERSTITIAL News 8’s Sarah Thamer has more on the school affected and what county health officials are recommending. Sarah? An usual number of parents called Holmen’s Evergreen Elementary School yesterday to report their children were absent due to the stomach bug. So to avoid the illness from spreading even more. school officials canceled all parent-teacher conferences and after school programs yesterday. They’ve been in touch with the La Crosse County Health Department for the necessary steps they needed to take. We got a call from the nurse and she noticed that they had an unusually large amount of students out in two particular grades actually the fouth and fifth grade. Students at Evergreen Elementary in Holmen woke up to a case of the stomach bug yesterday morning. And it wasn’t just two or three students. There was some classrooms in particular where it was almost half of the class that were out with specific symptoms. According to the La Crosse County Health Department, more than 50 students in grades four and five were out of school on Thursday due to the illness. La Crosse County public health nurse Joe Larson says the stomach bug is a common illness, but it’s rare for that many students to be affected at once. So over that kind of 15 percent threshold, it happens once in a while but for the most part they stay pretty consistent. School officials sent out a letter to parents letting them know that conferences and after school programs were cancelled yesterday in order for the school to undergo thorough cleaning, which Larsen says takes a lot more than clorox wipes or sprays. One thing that research is showing is that the only thing that really kills this bug is a bleach water solution, so what we’re recommending that the school does, is mix about three
quarters of the cup of concentrated bleach with a gallon of water, and you wipe that on the counters, let it sit for about five minutes. Mayo Clinic Pediatrics consultant Charles Peters recommends following specific guidlelines to prevent students from further spreading the illness. We strongly urge them to stay home and to rest and take in plenty of fluids and avoid food that make either vomitting or diarrhea worse. REPORTING IN HOLMEN, ST, NEWS 8. County health offcials say in regards to the outbreak. there was no connection to food. They are reccommending that parents keep their children home 48 hours even *after* they’re feeling well. Thank you Sarah. It is also reccommended that parents temporarily avoid sending home-prepared foods to school for classroom-shared treats.

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