VIDEO: People Weigh In On The South Lamar Stomach Illness
MILLPORT, Ala. (WCBI) – An update to a story we first brought you on Wednesday.
A state environmentalist says test results are inconclusive on what’s causing an apparent stomach virus to spread at South Lamar School.
The tests were done at the Lamar County School on Thursday, as nearly four-hundred students were out of class.
Superintendent Garth Moss says that number may be skewed because parents had the option to keep their kids home on Thursday with an excused absence, and some did just that even though their child was not sick.
School was still in session on Thursday, with all faculty there, and will be tomorrow as well.
Administrators and doctors say it’s very unusual, but not impossible for this many people to be sick all at once, and even some parents are getting sick. That’s one reason they believe it’s a nasty stomach bug floating around.
It only takes one person to spread a sickness, and that’s appears to have happened at South Lamar.
“It would be contaminated from surfaces that someone has come into contact with to whether that be, could it be water fountain, or could it be the bathroom door, the sinks in the bathroom, something in the cafeteria that would allow these kids, that somewhere that they all have touched for it to spread that quickly to contaminate so many people,” says Dr. J.R. Mcpherson.
The norovirus is what Mcpherson believes is spreading like wildfire. It’s the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis.
“Symptoms usually occur within 12 to 36 hours of exposure. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and dehydration are the big symptoms. It usually lasts 24 to 48 hours.”
Crews continue to clean the school and buses, with more cleaning sessions planned for this weekend.
Mcpherson says this is the best way to get rid of the bug.
“Bleach would probably be the best thing to kill it. The other thing that you need to know about the norovirus is that usually hand sanitizes are not the best way to clean your hands. Wash your hands with soap and water for twenty seconds, and rinse them thoroughly. That’s the best way to prevent this.”
Parent Tim Jenkins is making sure his kids stay as far away from the virus as possible.
“We kept the children out today, just for the safety, you know, for precaution, to prevent hopefully from spreading it, so the virus or sickness, whatever it is going around.”
Mcpherson says it’s not an uncommon virus, but it is unusual for so many people to get it at the same time, and that’s what’s causing the worries.
“A little bit because like everybody is getting sick, and it just happened out of the middle of no where,” says South Lamar student, Hannah Barksdale.
Around 130 students were out of class on Wednesday.
Superintendent Moss says Friday’s pep rally will be held outside, and the football game will go on as planned.