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Mystery Illness Afflicting Broward Elementary School

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WESTON (CBSMiami) – A mystery illness that seems to be making its way around a Broward County school has prompted the school board to alert parents to the possible problem.

Concerned parents began showing up at Manatee Bay Elementary school as word spread that kids were getting sick.  “I just receive a phone call from one of neighbors and she just told me to pick her (my daughter) up,” said parent Madelyn Banch.

The Broward School Board sent a letter to parents Friday saying that Manatee Bay Elementary staff has received “numerous reports of students experiencing signs and symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.”

The school board went on to say that the schools is taking “all possible preventative actions” that includes encouraging proper hand washing and conducting “thorough cleanings of classrooms.”

Several parents were seen leaving the school with their children Friday morning and afternoon. The school board said the Florida Department of Health in Broward County is working to determine what is causing the children to get sick.

Parents said that they’ve learned that somewhere between 200 and 300 kids are out with some kind of bug with flu like symptoms.  Even the health department was sent out to investigate.

“I just heard there was a stomach virus that was here and I just felt like for the sake, to keep my kid home to he doesn’t catch it,” said Melissa Ross.  Her son Alex Ross is in third grade.  He said some of his friends are ill. “Are there a lot of kids sick at school?” asked CBS 4’s Ted Scouten.  “Yes, my friend went home,” he said.

The Broward School Board also asked parents to reinforce the importance of hand washing and asked that children who experience “stomach flu-like” symptoms like upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever to “please keep your child home from school.”

The School Board ended its letter saying, “It is important that your child does not return to school until symptom free (emphasis added).”

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