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Disease outbreak at Westview Primary in Goose Creek sends more than 100 students home sick

November 17, 2017 GMT

The Berkeley County School District has announced it will disinfect Westview Primary School this weekend after a disease caused diarrhea and vomiting this week at the Goose Creek school.

Diane Etling, the parent of a first-grader at Westview, said she saw students leaving the school in droves when she went to pick her daughter up early Thursday afternoon. She said a school nurse told her the school quit counting after it sent the 140th student home sick.

“It came on very fast, and it was like mass vomiting. I mean it sounds disgusting — it is disgusting — but it’s literally how it happened. It’s so bad that they ran out of the little biohazard bags they send home with the children that are sick, the little airplane sickness bags.”

In a statement Friday, the district said it was working with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to address the situation.

“District leaders and school administrators are working to address reports and support families at Westview Primary (WVP) who have children that are experiencing symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness,” the district said. “Our BCSD custodial team, along with a team from Disaster Care, will begin disinfecting the school building at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

“Additionally, we have been working closely with DHEC and have provided a letter to parents at WVP that includes information about the spread of illness, what to do if a parent or family member becomes ill and cleaning recommendations. If parents have any questions or concerns, we encourage them to use the contact information provided to them in the letter and, as always, contact their school or our district for support.”

Etling said she was upset that the school did not notify parents sooner about the problem. She said she never received a phone call or email from the school, except for one note that the first grade classes would be canceling their planned Thanksgiving feast on Friday. She said her daughter hasn’t shown symptoms of the unidentified disease yet, but she decided to keep her home Friday and play it safe.

The school posted a notice to parents on its Facebook page Thursday night.

“Please be aware that there were an unusual number of absences today with several students sent home with vomiting,” the posting said. “We wanted to make you aware so you can keep an eye out for symptoms fever, vomiting or diarrhea. As always your child’s safety and well being is important to us.”