Middle school announces health scare on campus
DANIA BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Parents of students at Olsen Middle School have received notice that someone contracted Legionnaire's disease at the school.
Parents were contacted about a health scare involving someone on campus. Those parents received an automated call Tuesday afternoon stating someone in the school's community contracted Legionnaire's disease.
The disease is a form of nemonia and involves a bacteria that is not contagious from one person to another. It comes from breathing in a mist or a vapor from water that is contaminated with this kind of bacteria. Doctor's said it can be fatal, but it usually is not.
Dr. Nabil El Sanadi of Broward Health Medical Center said parents should be concerned but not frightened. "There is no reason to panic," said Sanadi. "I think that for the parents that actually got the phone calls, just keep an eye on the child, make sure you touch base with their primary care provider, there is no reason for panic. They just need to have good communication with their primary health care system. If there are any signs or symptoms, seek help."
Symptoms of Legionnaire's disease include high fever, chills, cough, muscle aches and headaches. This was not exactly welcoming news for parent's who hadn't received the call. "Oh my God," said a concerned mother. "Did you know about that?"
"I guess that's something else we gotta worry about now when kids are in school," said Joel Borden. "Not too good."
"I heard about that before," said one parent. "I'm from Philadelphia where Legionnaire's disease killed a lot of people many years ago. So, I'd like to definitely know what's going on cause I don't want them going to this school if that's how it's gonna be."
One student described what it was like at at the school. "The classroom's had bottles of water with like cups and stuff," said Joshua Borden. "So we had to get our water from there. We couldn't drink out of the water fountain."
Three cases of Legionnaire's disease and one death were linked to water at the EPIC Hotel in Miami back in 2009. Doctors said parents should know that it's treatable with antibiotics. "If they've been alerted that there have been one or two cases," said Sanadi, "In a school system or in a classroom then they should just be vigilant."
Officials have not said if the person with the disease is a student or an employee. They also have stated that there are no signs that the disease began at the school.
Broward County Schools have been providing bottled water for children and staff members just as a precaution and will continue to do so.
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