Virus hits hard at Long Island school

April 17, 2009 5:38:26 PM PDT
Parents of students at the Edmund Mills Middle School had some unusual advice for their kids.

"I told her try not to speak to anyone, stay by herself because there's something going on in the school," Berman Henriquez said.

At least 25 students and 3 teachers on Thursday, and 7 more students on Friday were sickened by a respiratory virus.

Dozens of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students reported to the nurse's office complaining of the same symptoms.

"Coughing, chills, and that low grade fever," Amityville Superintendent John Williams said.

Officials in Amityville decided not to close the school, instead opting for an intense Spring cleaning.

The district called in extra custodians on Thursday night to scrub every inch of every surface with antibacterial soap.

Hundreds of door knobs, lockers, desks, computers and even light switches were scrubbed clean, and even the air filters were replaced. Most students did show up for class on Friday with hygiene in mind.

"I was washing my hands and making sure I didn't get sick or anything like that," Shaleik Simpkins said.

It's unclear how the virus spread so quickly. Suffolk county health officials say the cafeteria food is not to blame and the affected students did not share a common classroom.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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