Mystery illness hits Detroit school as kindergartner dies
A Detroit elementary school has been closed until Monday for a deep cleaning after several students came down with a mysterious, flu-like illness and a kindergartner died, CBS Detroit’s Andres Gutierrez reports.
The boy experienced flu-like symptoms at first, but officials said the cause of his death last week hasn’t been determined.
Several other students were suffering from fever and vomiting this week, prompting officials to shut the school so it could be disinfected.
The Detroit Health Department is closely monitoring the situation at Marcus Garvey Academy and sent a team to review the school’s disinfecting protocols.
But even with a deep cleaning, some parents aren’t sure they want to send their children back to the classroom on Monday.
“That’s good that they cleaned up the school, but we’re still trying to see who all got it,” said Theodore Burton, whose two daughters attend Marcus Garvey.
Burton wants to know how so many kids got sick. “We’re trying to see whether it’s the flu, COVID, the allergy season,” Burton said. “We’re just really worried.”
The health department urged parents of children ages 4-7 to see a doctor if their child has any symptoms, including fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain.
“It typically spreads by respiratory droplets. So someone coughs, and they could cough into their hand, and they touch that cough onto a surface, and those droplets, if they come in contact with someone else, can help to spread that flu virus,” said Dr. Tiffney Widner, of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
As Burton monitors his daughters for any symptoms, he’s hoping the school district and health department update parents on the situation before Monday.
“We just want everybody just be OK. Be safe. That’s the main thing,” Burton said.