School Outbreak in Toronto is Cause for Concern

Four schools in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, are under investigation by Health Canada for possible transmission of a highly contagious sickness at school after, officials said, “various students and staff became ill.” In Canada, symptoms typically begin with a fever and occasionally with weakness and vomiting. Most children, especially those with weak immune systems, can get better with rest, water and over-the-counter fever medicines. Of some concern, though, is that infants who do not know how to drink enough water or with diarrhea.

“It’s a critical message to share with all parents about this situation,” Toronto Public Health Commissioner Yvan Baker said. “We don’t have information right now of how the cases began.”

Viral outbreaks in schools are a notoriously difficult problem to contain. Students and staff usually have less time to boil water before classes resume, so people with symptoms are more at risk. The Toronto Globe and Mail suggests that the schools, Ecole secondaire national a Parisien (SeQuidaméricas), Ecole Lyrique Royal, Ecole Claire McCombs and École St. James, tested positive for norovirus, and that public health found another “secondary source” at one. In addition, students also got sick during the school vacation week.

At this point, the emergency teams are not directly connecting any of the cases, according to the Globe and Mail. The hospital, however, has issued a warning about the illness to people who have come into contact with the infected children.

SOURCE: The Globe and Mail | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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