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Dozens of students fall ill at NC school — and cause remains a mystery, district says

Dozens of students fall ill at NC school — and cause remains a mystery, district says

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Dozens of students became sick at a North Carolina school — and the cause of the illness is a mystery, officials said.

About 40 sixth graders were at Starmount Middle School when they experienced “nausea, headaches, and mild abdominal discomfort” including vomiting on Monday, campus officials wrote in a Facebook post.

Students who were feeling fine were moved to another area while the sick children were evaluated and sent home, according to Wayne Duggins, associate superintendent for Yadkin County Schools.

“Our first priority was the wellbeing of our students,” Starmount Middle School wrote in its social media post. “Office staff notified parents of affected students. Emergency management was contacted and responded to the school. Additionally, nurses from other schools also provided support.”

Officials said no students were hospitalized, and most felt better by the end of the school day. Also, students reportedly were allowed excused absences if they still didn’t feel well on Tuesday.

Now, there’s an investigation into what caused the sixth graders to become sick. The middle school, first responders and the Yadkin County health department are all looking into the illnesses, according to the district.

Though officials had considered food poisoning or other potential causes, they hadn’t nailed down one as of early Tuesday, Duggins told McClatchy News in a phone interview.

“We’re very interested in what the investigation has to hold as to why this happened or how this happened so that we can make sure that it never happens again,” Duggins said.


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