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More than 100 Students Sick at Carl Junction Kindergarten and Fi - KOAM TV 7

More than 100 Students Sick at Carl Junction Kindergarten and First Grade Building

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CARL JUNCTION, MISSOURI -

An illness being investigated by health officials closes school in Carl Junction for the next two days.  School district officials say the illness seemed to hit students fast, who all attend school in one particular building.

What's happening in CJ's kindergarten and first grade is not a textbook example.

"It's kind of ironic because we're on the downside of a pretty major flu season," says Mary Hughey, a registered nurse with the Joplin County Health Department.  "We didn't expect this."

School district officials say the shock happened first thing this morning.

"Attendance levels were lower than normal in our kindergarten and first grade building," says Tracie Skaggs with the Carl Junction School District.

The attendance level was 80%, meaning a little more than 100 kids were absent.  The morning worsened.

"We've sent home 40 kids," Skaggs told us during the noon hour.

Symptoms have been vomiting and diarrhea, and the Jasper County Health Department has taken samples from some students.

"We don't really know yet what's going on.  That will take some time," says Skaggs.

Health officials say exactly how this illness is spreading so quickly is the million dollar question, but the goal right now is containment.

"Disinfect our buildings and our buses," says Skaggs.

Parents should do the same at home.

"Vigilant for dehydration.  We do encourage parents to touch base with a physician if the symptoms are severe or the child is not able to eat or drink at all, or has a temperature or other symptoms that would go along with that," says Hughey.

Health officials hope to have results taken from the students on Friday.  The two canceled school days will be made up May 24th and 25th, which are already in the school district's calendar as make-up days.

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