Merced Students Sick

May 1, 2009 8:33:10 PM PDT
68 students stayed home from Franklin School todayAdministrators believe many were absent because their parents are concerned about the unidentified illness that sent about 25 kids home sick on Wednesday. But health officials said the good news is; it's not the flu.

Most of the students at Franklin School returned to class Friday morning after parents were notified by phone Thursday evening that the campus was being disinfected due to an illness that sent several kids home sick.

Teresa Hernandez, mother, "He came home on Wednesday and as soon as we got out of church, he started crying, and his stomach was hurting really bad and as soon as we got home, he just ran to the bathroom and started throwing up and diarrhea and everything."

Teresa Hernandez initially feared her son may have contracted the H1N1 flu virus, but now she and the Merced County Public Health Department are confident that's not the case.

Katie Albertson Merced County Spokesperson "Based on that information we can say with about 99% certainty that the flu is not the cause of this sickness."

Public Health Nurses are interviewing all of the kids who became ill shortly after their lunch period on Wednesday. Experts are also testing the food that was served in the cafeteria. But it could still take some time before anyone knows exactly what caused the widespread sickness.

Greg Spicer Merced City School District said, "We called in all of the cafeteria managers including the ones at Franklin School, just went over the procedures, especially considering the food process keeping it cold, keeping it hot, and serving."

Teresa Hernandez is just thankful her son recovered quickly, "He's doing better; I just believe it's a 24 hour bug or something because he didn't have a fever or anything."

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