22 New Rochelle Eight-Graders Stricken by Norovirus During Class Trip to DC

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — 22 eighth-grade students from Isaac E. Young Middle School in New Rochelle become violently ill during the last night of a class trip to Washington, D.C.

The suspicion that students may have contracted the virus earlier that evening at restaurant or on a boat during a ferry ride. The first students began vomiting shortly after 9 p.m. with the virus continuing to spread throughout the night.

School Principal Dr. Anthony Bongo said that based on a preliminary report it appears the students were infected with the norovirus, a fast-moving virus that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The students were treated for fatigue, diarrehea and dehydration at George Washington University Hospital, according to Bongo.

Bongo said that he worked with Dr. Weiss, the school district’s medical officer and the Westchester County Department of Health to coordinate information with GWU Hospital.

“Parents of children on the trip have been kept informed by on-site staff every step of the way, and all students are safe,” said a school district spokesperson

22 students were hospitalized. Most were released soon after but 10 remained at the hospital to be treated for dehydration.

Six teachers and two chaperons worked hard throughout the night to care for the sick students, said Dr. Anthony Bongo. He praised the dedication of the staff who worked without sleep, helping students all night with kind words, holding hands, aiding the sick and reassuring everyone.

“Once all students are cleared for travel by medical professionals, they are expected to return home under the care of their teachers and chaperones this evening,” the school district said in a statement earlier today The students were all were finally cleared to travel at around 3 p.m. Friday.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone. People can get it from another infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed leading to stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up. These symptoms can be serious for some people, especially young children and older adults.

68 students left New Rochelle on on Wednesday for what has become an annual three-day trip to tour the nation’s capital. The students are expect back Friday. One bus is expected back Friday evening, the second bus is due back Friday at 10 p.m.