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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

School staff, students come down with unknown illness


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The Florida Department of Health in Hernando County received information on Monday through a school nurse regarding an unusually large number of staff who were out sick due to a gastrointestinal illness at Moton Elementary, according to Health Department Spokesperson Ann-Gayl Ellis.

There were 11 teachers out Monday, according to School Superintendent Bryan Blavatt.

“Which was a little bit strange,” Blavatt said. “But by Wednesday I think they had three out and three out for various leave, not just sick leave.”

Concerned parents contacted Hernando Today, detailing reports of children vomiting on the playground.

“FDOH epidemiology staff has been investigating the illness this week,” Ellis said. “Investigation strategies include voluntary verbal surveys and specimen collection from those who were ill.”

As of Thursday, the cause of the illness has not been determined, Ellis said.

“To the best of our knowledge, the illness is not life-threatening and has not resulted in any hospitalizations,” Ellis said.

Principal Mark Griffith could not be reached for comment.

“There have been students out, but it may be the flu, it may be that testing is over, it may be a number of things,” Blavatt said. “I suspect Sunday was Mother’s Day. A lot of times Monday after Mother’s Day a lot of people don’t come in, and call in sick.”

Check Hernando Today for updates as they become available.

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