Mystery Illness Keeps Hundreds Absent from Texas School

Empty classroom

HUMBLE, Texas – The Humble Independent School District and Harris County Health Department are taking extra precautions to prevent the undisclosed illness from spreading.

The school district is investigating why 205 students and five staff were absent from Woodland Hills Elementary School on Thursday, according to KPRC-NBC.

The absence of 35 percent of the student body comes a day after dozens of students were either absent or sent home sick with similar flu-like symptoms.

“Woodland Hills Elementary had an unusually high absence rate today. Seventy-eight children were absent and more were sent home ill. Vomiting and diarrhea appear to be common symptoms. At this point, the cause of the illness is not known,” Principal Debi Beard said in a parent letter on Wednesday.

The school brought in a special cleaning crew to sanitize the building including every desk, doorknob, and the entire kitchen. The crew also is using specialized equipment to fog the building and school buses at night with an “antibacterial and virucidal mist.”

The school told parents in a letter Thursday that it continually educates students and staff about the importance of hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick to prevent the spread of illness to other students.

Woodland Hills Elementary was cleared by the Houston Health and Epidemiology Departments to resume serving lunches Thursday.

Ryan Saavedra is a contributor for Breitbart Texas and can be found on Twitter at @RealSaavedra.


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