More than 200 absent after students fall ill at Humble ISD elementary school

Friday, April 28, 2017
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Humble ISD cleaning school after mysterious illness, Christine Dobbyn reports.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Hundreds of students were absent Thursday after dozens of students fell ill at Humble ISD elementary.

More than 80 students were absent Wednesday from Woodland Hills Elementary and even more fell ill throughout the school day. A sanitizing spray mist will be applied throughout the school.

Students told ABC13 that Thursday is a big day for those in the school play.

"I'm just nervous that some people won't show up because of being sick and they won't be able to come and do that," Marissa Armendariz said.

For families in the district, learning of the mysterious illness has them watching their children closely.

"Being a single dad, it's hard for me to take time off and if one gets sick it just travels," said David Armendariz.

He has three children at Woodland Hills.

"I got scared a little bit, but they came home and I was debating whether to send them the next day," he added.

Officials don't know the cause of the illness, but they're taking precautions on campus by doing the following:

  • A special cleaning crew scoured the building on Wednesday, April 26, to sterilize every desk, doorknob, and more.
  • Special equipment was used to fog the entire interior of the building with an antibacterial and virucidal mist. This will continue each evening until there are no further symptoms of this illness.
  • All buses that transport Woodland Hills Elementary students are being fogged with the antibacterial and virucidal mist
  • In the school kitchen, every surface is being sanitized with a bleach solution.
  • The City of Houston Health Department and Epidemiology Department has cleared the school kitchen to serve lunch today. However, in an abundance of caution, box lunches are being prepared off-site for school lunch.

Statement from Humble ISD:

"Humble ISD has measures in place to protect students, staff and visitors. The district enjoys a close working relationship with health officials and continually monitors events including flu season, and viruses. Humble ISD follows Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (HCPHES) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations regarding communicable disease protocols."

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