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Galt High School students dismissed early after four go to hospital with flu-like symptoms

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Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013 1:51 pm | Updated: 1:54 pm, Fri Aug 30, 2013.

All Galt High School students were released early on Friday, after four students experiencing influenza-like symptoms were taken to area hospitals, according to district staff.

Another three who experienced cramping, nausea and vomiting were sent home with their parents, according to Jean Malmgren, executive assistant to the Galt Joint Union High School District superintendent.

Later, an additional four students fell ill and the entire student body was released just after lunchtime, Superintendent Matthew Roberts said.

“The district was just being cautious and, in cooperation with health and emergency services, decided to dismiss students a bit early,” he said.

Initially, administrators thought it was a possible that all of the students may have ingested doughnuts brought in Friday morning and left out before being eaten, Malmgren said, but the cause is still under investigation.

The affected students seemed concentrated near the band/music room.

Still, just after lunch, Cosumnes Fire Department did a room-by-room sweep of the Lincoln Way campus, looking for any environmental causes such as air quality.

Pacific, Gas and Electric was also on scene.

“We worked with the hazmat team, and their environmental scan turned up nothing,” Roberts said, adding that PG&E also ruled out any gas leaks. “There is no clear connection at this point, but we are working with the county health department to continue examining possible causes.”

Three of the students were taken to Sacramento hospitals, while a fourth went to Lodi Memorial. All four were released Friday afternoon, Roberts said.

Last month, 18 children from a San Diego elementary school were taken to the hospital after falling ill after lunch in the school cafeteria. However, it was determined they made themselves sick after playing a game of “dare” and adding vegetables, hot sauce, salt, pepper and other food into their milk.

In Galt, students already had a planned day off on Tuesday following the Labor Day holiday Monday due to a staff buy-back day. Classes are expected to resume Wednesday.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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