Over 130 students at Meridian’s Prospect Elementary School have reported suffering from what Central District Health officials are calling “a viral respiratory illness.”
On Thursday, May 3rd, principal Michelle Storey sent a notice to parents and guardians reporting the school was experiencing “a significant increase in illness.”
“The most common symptoms include a fever, headache, sore throat, and/or stomach ache. The custodial staff will be doing additional disinfecting procedures... We have been in contact with the health department and physicians in the area, and they have not identified any specific virus at this time,” Storey wrote.
“If your child experiences a fever over 100.0*F or symptoms of illness, please keep he/she home from school,” she told parents.
The disinfecting procedure started Thursday evening. Crews were still cleaning areas of the school Tuesday.
If parents are seeing their children experience flu-like symptoms, they are urged to call the school’s attendance line at 208-350-4001. Officials have instructed parents to leave a message that “includes the symptoms your child is experiencing to help us monitor the situation. At this time, the health department is not advising any additional measures.”
“My daughter tells me fifteen kids were missing from a first-grade class on Friday. Another class -– of fourth graders -- had seven kids leave for home Tuesday,” one concerned parent wrote in an e-mail to Six On Your Side. “Every day, there is a line of kids to see the nurse with symptoms of nausea, headaches, fever, diarrhea.”
On Monday, May 7th, West Ada School District Health Services Coordinator Colene Letterle sent a notice to parents saying:
“(The) West Ada School District is working in cooperation with Central District Health Department regarding the influenza-like illness at Prospect Elementary. We have been in contact with them several times a day since May 3, 2018 reporting the student symptoms and following all recommendations regarding disinfecting the building.
“We have dedicated additional trained staff and supplies according to their recommendations.
“The health department reminds us to keep any coughs covered, and wash hands frequently.
“It is advised that students stay home if there are any symptoms of communicable illness (sore throat, temperature above 99.9 degrees F, cough, body aches, or headaches)… ”
“At the peak of the illness, we saw about 25 percent of our student population absent,” Storey told us. “Those numbers have now decreased to about 20 percent.”
Staff members have also been hit by the illness. Three staff members called in sick Tuesday, officials said.