April 22, 2009 01:45 am
Salem students stricken with salmonella
poisoning Environmental camp under state review
of Article: http://www.eagletribune.com/punewsnh/local_story_112015238.html?keyword=secondarystory
SALEM — More than 50
Woodbury Middle School students have been diagnosed with salmonella
poisoning, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
continues to determine the cause of the outbreak. All the students infected
attended Stone Environmental School last week, an overnight camp in
Madison, Salem School Superintendent Michael Delahanty said.
At least one student
has been hospitalized from the sickness and another may have been, said Dr.
Jose Montero, the state's director of public health.
The Department of
Health and Human Services started an investigation Monday after school
officials notified it that about 50 students from the same education team
were out sick. Students had symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and high
fever. The department determined the children were infected with salmonella
after analyzing stool samples.
State health officials
are interviewing the children infected and have sent a team to the
environmental school near North Conway to review the facility's practices
and to interview workers. But Montero said they may never know what caused
don't know," Montero said. "If we are looking at a food event and
the kids became ill on Thursday, then the food is long gone by now."
The first reported
sickness at the camp was on Tuesday, when one student visited the nurse's
office with a high fever, according to Dave Freese, director of Stone
Environmental School. Thursday, four students came down from their dorm
rooms with headaches and a fever. Through the night, more students came in
with similar symptoms. By Friday, around a dozen students had to spend time
with the school's nurse. Those students were picked up at the camp by their
Another group of
children from a different school district is scheduled to attend the camp
next week. Freese said state inspectors told him there would be no reason
for future groups to be concerned after conducting an on-site review.
He said this is the
first time the camp has had a problem like this since moving to Purity
Springs Resort. The camp pays the resort to take care of all of its food
and food services, Freese said.
"We've been here
since 1993 and it's been a very good experience for us," he said.
"We haven't had something like this happen before."
students missed school at Woodbury Monday, and 69 were absent yesterday, Delahanty
Earlier this year, the
district decided to discontinue the Woodbury School's 33-year relationship
with the environmental program. Delahanty cited the liability risk of
sending students to an overnight camp and the camp's curriculum as reasons
to discontinue the program.
chairwoman of the school's PTA, said most parents seemed indifferent to the
administration's decision to discontinue the program, and she doubted an
event like this would have any bearing on parental opinion.
"This is part of
life. I understand the district won't be doing it next year and parents
seem to be shrugging their shoulders about it," Redden said. "I
think parents tend to take these things in stride. I don't think this will
make that much of a difference."