St. Thomas More Catholic School

Mysterious ailment fells eight at St. Thomas More School

  • April 27, 2012

TORONTO - Spring cleaning became a high priority at St. Thomas More Catholic School on April 26 after at least six students and two teachers began feeling flu-like symptoms.

The rapid onset of the symptoms, which included fevers, lethargy and severe abdominal pains, raised enough concern that emergency crews were called to the school in Toronto's northeast end. Most who displayed signs of illness were assessed and released on site by Emergency Medical Services, who arrived around 2 p.m., with the exception of one student who was transported to hospital.

Toronto Fire Services also responded to the school to perform air quality testing which found no chemical or biological toxins in the air. No evacuation was required after the tests, but a precautionary full disinfection of the school by four custodians occurred during the night.

"We had a thorough cleaning of the school last night," said Carrado Maltese, safety manager with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. "We cleaned all common surfaces, floors, door handles, students' desks and lunch tables."

Maltese said an inspection of the school's boiler also took place to ensure there was no carbon monoxide leak.

"That can sometimes be a source so we just wanted to rule it out," he said.

While the illnesses are considered non-life threatening, the cause is still undetermined. However, less than 24 hours after the outbreak, things were operating as usual inside the school.

"It's just another school day," said Maltese, who was at St. Thomas More on Friday before the morning bell rang.

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