Broward School Hit by Mystery Illness

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 6 South Florida
    A mystery illness has hit Boulevard Heights Elementary School.

    A Broward elementary school is undergoing a thorough cleaning after a number of students fell ill.

    Now the Health Department is trying to pinpoint the source and get the situation under control at Boulevard Heights Elementary School.

    "I've seen lots of students that they're vomiting and they have to go to the bathroom really badly," second-grader Max Carraeja said. "I think it's really, really we need, like, to pay attention, because if you go and drink water from the fountain you might get sick."

    The suspicious strain popped up at the Hollywood school some time last week. The Broward County School District said an unusually high number of students with gastric concerns had to go home because of vomiting and diarrhea. Carraeja was lucky enough to no be one of them.

    "My son was fine so I said to him you're fine you don't have none of that," Carreja's mother Carolina said.

    The sick spell can be compared to the norovirus, the infection commonly seen on cruise ships.

    A pre-recorded school voicemail sent to parents said: "The virus is quickly spread through hands and mouths touching the water fountain. The water supply is not contaminated."

    In addition to phone calls, the school sent out letters alerting parents about the situation. Administrators also said the playgrounds are being scrubbed down, teachers are making sure kids wash their hands, and the school has covered the water fountains. Parents are also supposed to send their kids to school with bottled water.

    NBC 6 spoke with a mother of quadruplets who didn't want to be on camera.

    "You have 4 kids, you have 4 times the worry?" Reporter Jamie Guirola asked,

    "Yes yes," she replied. "Well, it's a little more expensive. I have to get like at least three cases of water, but it's ok. It's ok as long as they don't get sick I can handle it."

    The district released a statement saying:

    "The health and safety of our students and staff are always our highest priorities. We will continue to work with and follow the direction of the Health Department on this issue."