An outbreak of an unknown illness at an elementary and middle school in Detroit is being looked at by public health officials following the death of a kindergartener.
On Wednesday, The Detroit Public Schools Community District announced that Marcus Garvey Academy “has experienced an unusually high rate of flu-like symptoms including student fevers and vomiting, namely at the early grade levels.”
According to Children’s Hospital of Michigan pediatrician Dr. Kevin Dazy, school outbreaks may still be sparked by the ongoing spread of respiratory infections, which typically peak in the winter.
He stated that the winter conditions Detroit is still experiencing this spring have caused children to spend more time inside.
“Sure, this is a little bit later in the season. By no means is it unheard of that we may see another wave of any viral respiratory illness,” Dazy said.
“When you’re in a confined area, such as a classroom, of course that can make one child very contagious to the other kids in the class.”
Although it is uncertain why the outbreak has not been identified yet, Dr. Dazy said doctors are less likely to test for respiratory viruses during off-peak seasons, which could delay diagnosis.
Earlier this week, a hand, foot, and mouth disease outbreak forced a Detroit daycare facility to close for deep cleaning.
As of Tuesday, 17 cases have been discovered at Focus: HOPE Center for Children. It is doubtful that the illness is connected to the Garvey Academy outbreak.
The daycare is also scheduled to open on Monday, May 8.
Droplets from coughs, sneezes, and contact with contaminated items or surfaces are the two main ways hand, foot, and mouth disease spreads. It frequently affects infants and kids under the age of five, and the typical symptoms are a skin rash, fever, and mouth sores.