Contagious bug leaves a tenth of students home sick at Emerson Elementary

Contagious bug leaves a tenth of students home sick at Emerson Elementary »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. -- Pasco is dealing with a sickness that's run through much of Emerson Elementary. It seems the bug hit right after Halloween. The school is still recovering. KEPR looked into the culprit behind the bug.

"It was like a ghost town in here," said an RSC Tutor at Emerson, Linnea Howard.

After an outbreak of a stomach bug, she considers herself a lucky one.

"I don't know how I escaped the virus but somehow I didn't get sick all weekend and I did not get sick Friday."

She says she did all the normal things. She just washed her hands a lot and hoped for the best.

"I saw mostly the stomach ache and them feeling like their nauseous and then I did see some people just going for the bathroom...they were just like yup gotta go..."

Sixty-two students and twenty staff members were out Friday, alone. Their symptoms were vomiting and diarrhea.

But the Health Department said just because students and staff have flu-like symptoms doesn't mean they have Influenza. They are believed to have an intestinal illness that can spread extremely easily.

"We really felt like it was more of a communicable airborne kind of a thing...when we talked with the Health department, they suggested the same thing," said School Nurse, Susie Wells.

They did check to see if it was a possible food or water contamination -- but no common source was found.

"It was pretty confusing for us..had they been eating too much candy or what exactly was going on cause a Friday after's not too surprising to have a higher instance of absentees," said Wells.

"They thought maybe it was the Halloween stuff...might have been something in the food cause we did have a pot luck for a Halloween party," said Howard,

But as for now, that doesn't seem to be the case. Most staff members had recovered by Monday, but more than two dozen Emerson students were still out.

Experts stress -- good hand washing -- and always getting the flu shot. Though the shot wouldn't protect against a contagious bug like this.