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Manhattan Student Sickness Still Being Investigated

KSAL StaffSeptember 7, 2016

State and Riley County health officials are still working to determine why more than a dozen Manhattan High School students became ill during the first week of school.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Riley County Health Department are conducting an online survey of parents with students who attend Manhattan High School West Campus.

School personnel notified public health officials about an apparent increase in students with gastrointestinal illness at the school beginning August 18. This includes stdents who reported vomiting and diarrhea, without an alternate cause.

In order to determine the extent and scope of the illnesses, KDHE and the Riley County Health Department are conducting a secure, confidential online survey of parents with students who attend Manhattan High School West Campus. The online survey will be emailed to parents by the high school.

Two persons tested positive for enteropathogenic E. Coli (EPEC) at the KDHE Laboratories; however, these positive results may be unrelated to the outbreak. EPEC infection typically causes diarrhea in young children, which is not consistent with most of the illnesses reported to date. In addition, the two individuals who provided these specimens have extensive contact outside of school.

Health officials are continuing to test specimens and survey ill persons to determine a cause of the outbreak.

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