School Closed Amid Outbreak of Unknown Illness

School Closed Sign | Image by Ayman Haykal/Shutterstock

Children in Detroit are falling ill due to an unknown illness.

Detroit health officials have announced an increase in unknown illnesses in an elementary school in the city. Officials report that at least one child has died in the wake of this surge.

The Detroit Health Department issued a statement on May 3 following reports of illness among children at Marcus Garvey Academy. The school announced in a statement that it had experienced an “unusually high rate of flu-like symptoms including student fevers, and vomiting, namely at the early grade levels,” according to AP News.

While the symptoms of the illness are similar to that of the cold and flu, officials have not yet identified the cause of these illnesses. Officials sanitized the school while investigations continued.

“After receiving reports of symptomatic students at Garvey, the Detroit Health Department responded by sending a team to the location to assist DPSCD leadership with evaluation, monitoring review of protocols for deep cleaning and disinfecting. In collaboration with the Department of Health, DPSCD has informed parents/caregivers of students that Garvey will be closed until Monday to allow for deep cleaning,” Detroit Health Department officials said in a release.

Officials confirmed that cases of the illness had only occurred at this one school.

However, amidst this outbreak, a tragedy occurred.

Health officials confirmed that one kindergartner, 6-year-old Jimari Williams, died at a local hospital on April 26. Tiffani Jackson, communications director for Wayne County, told the Detroit Free Press that the exact cause of death had not been confirmed and that toxicology tests had not yet been administered.

Jackson reported that because of this, the death cannot yet be attributed to the outbreak.

The health department advised that parents of children between the ages of 4 and 7 monitor their children for symptoms and seek medical aid quickly if their child experiences any of the following symptoms: fever, abdominal pain, headache, lethargy, nausea, or vomiting.

The organization also said that immunizations are available for both children and adults for childhood diseases.

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