Virus Infects Elementary School Children

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SUGARLOAF -- There is a massive sick-out in a school district in Luzerne County.

Officials in the Hazleton area said students started to show signs of flu like symptoms on Friday.  School officials blame the Norovirus.  Both parents and administrators are concerned.

A family has seen what the virus can do to their children.  Lyrc, age 2, and her 9-month-old sister Sage were sickened.  Apparently their 6-year-old brother, Legend was infected by the bug while going to school in the Valley Elementary School in Sugarloaf.

His mother Jennifer Seek said her son inadvertently brought it home.

"Saturday morning at 4 a.m., he started to show the symptoms and at 6 a.m. my daughter Lyrc started to show the symptoms and then the baby also at the same time."

Parent Renee Rusnock has heard about the infection at the Hazleton area school. Rusnock explained she's keeping her daughter to prevent her from getting sick.

"Hundreds of parents on social media sites saying they're kid had it. There is high fevers, diarrhea, it's scary!." Rusnock said.

Michele Giazick is taking the same approach.

"I have not in my own experience seen this so rapidly go and all these kids became sick on one day," Giazick said.

School officials said 200 Valley Elementary students, 20 percent of the school, are out because of because of being sick or parents keeping healthy kids home.  School officials say if a child is sick they should stay home to prevent infection of others.

Ellen McBride is head of the Hazleton Area School District nurses.

"I know a lot of parents work and everything but you need to keep them home, especially if they're complaining about the stomach cramps and everything because by the time they get to school is when it's going to hit them," McBride explained.

Hazleton Area School officials said they're going to be putting information on their website and sending letters home to parents telling them how to deal with the virus outbreak.

For information from the CDC, click here.


  • MARY

    The majority of parents send their children back to school way too early. Most parents do not even keep them home a full 24 hours after vomitting. The CDC suggests a minimum of 48 hours but preferred time is 72 hours. This school needs to get a major clean up crew in that school!! Honestly, it’s not just the working moms that send them back too soon. It’s all moms!!! Get’s me aggravated when a parent sends their kids back to school too soon,so that they can resume their daily activities like the gym and free time for themselves!! No consideration!!

  • Patti Gaizick

    MS Mcbride is telling parents to keep their chilren home if they have symptoms, Please tell us why the school nurse sends a child back to class after it has thrown up, but does not have a fever, and gives that child 2 barf bags for the bus ride home. On Friday 2 children threw up on my granddaughters bus ride home. The headline “200 Kids Skip School Sick or not” does not do this story justice. I Understand 80 more children we sent home sick today. How many of thechildren that you say stayed home today were sick? What did they do on the cruie ships? Came back to land an Sanitized the entire ship. The school needs to be sanitized or this will continue until June 20. You asked nurses for their inpu, but did not give the public the information those nurses gave you, nor did you get them answers from the school as to what is being done. Who is keeping you from reporting the information needed?

    • Patti Gaizick

      I just read the recomendations from the CDC. You are to disinfect the area that you threw up in or had diahria in High concentrations of Chlorine Bleach. As for as anyone knows The Valley Elementary School has not had this done. When you have 80children throwng up in all different places I cannot see how the janitors are doing this, it takes professionals. What is the district waiting for? 90% of the students and teachers to be sick before they o anyhing? We need answers now.

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