Staff to disinfect Lansing school after outbreak
By Susan Vela
Lansing State Journal
February 3, 2005
Resurrection School children were vomiting in the school’s hallways, gymnasium and offices Wednesday, causing Principal Diana Repichowski to cancel classes for the rest of the week.
About 60 of the school’s 151 kindergartners through eighth-graders were absent Wednesday morning. By noon, an additional 15 had been sent home.
“I don’t know if I’m well or sick after cleaning up after so many kids,” Repichowski said.
“The children were just violently ill. I’ve never seen this in my life.”
T.J. Bucholz, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Community Health, said a gastrointestinal virus most likely has struck the eastside school, 1527 E. Michigan Ave.
Repichowski’s plan is to have staff members disinfect the school’s desks, lunch tables, counter tops and other surfaces over the next few days so the school can reopen Monday.
Nancy Heldt hopes her children are ready. Sixth-grader Eddie, 11; fourth-grader Frances, 9; and kindergartner Louis, 6, began vomiting Tuesday and stayed home Wednesday.
“It seemed they were fine. Then all of a sudden, they were throwing up,” she said. “They really can’t keep much in their stomachs.”
Bucholz said viruses such as the one at Resurrection can strike at any time of the year.
Germs and viruses tend to spread easily at schools, he said.
Flu activity is starting to pick up in mid-Michigan schools.
Our Savior Lutheran Principal Alan Krause said children were out this week with fever and cough. About 25 children a day have been absent, compared with the norm of three.
Lansing school nurse Patricia Bednarz reports similar symptoms and spikes in absenteeism at Lyons and North elementary schools.
Lansing’s Willow Elementary School became a breeding ground for the shigella germ this fall. The germ’s spread caused schoolchildren and eventually their families to experience bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and stomach cramps.
Ingham County’s shigellosis outbreak consisted of about 100 confirmed cases and 40 suspected cases.
The norm is six cases a year.
Contact Susan Vela at 702-4248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.