School illness still a mystery

Emergency response at St. Joseph commended

No cause has been identified for the mystery illness that struck St. Joseph Cathedral School earlier this month, but the emergency response from city, county and state agencies has been commended.

At the Public Safety Committee meeting Thursday, Emergency Management Director Bill Farr said the response from all involved, including city fire and police personnel, was great.

“Everyone was doing exactly what they were supposed to do,” Farr said. “Everything really worked out well.”

Farr said officials were still unsure what caused the outbreak Jan. 15 that led to about a dozen students feeling ill, reporting dizziness and rashes, as well as a few who collapsed. Farr said doctors didn’t find anything to cause the students’ symptoms and all environmental tests were passed, including testing for contamination in the building’s water.

“It’s still an unknown,” Farr said.

He said it’s possible there was some type of viral infection that spread in close quarters.

The school has sent letters to agencies involved in the response, thanking them for their work and quick action, Farr said.

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