At least 111 students have come down with a stomach-flu like illness after attending prom at a Chicago aquarium. About 400 students from Andrew High School attended the dance on Friday night, which was catered by Sodexo.
Shedd Aquarium said the food service provider was investigating, and that any findings are being shared with the Chicago Department of Public Health. An aquarium spokesman said they don’t believe there are any safety concerns related to food or drink being served to visitors.
Cook County Department of Public Health is also working on the case, but cautioned that the investigation would likely take time.
“While the symptoms are consistent with norovirus, we are still trying to confirm what made students ill,” Demian Christiansen, director of the county health department’s communicable disease prevention and control unit, said in a statement. “We hope to have more information in the next couple days.”
A number of students fell ill by Saturday morning, complaining of fever, diarrhea and vomiting. About 40 students had continued on to Wisconsin Dells, where half of them fell ill and had to take themselves to the hospital.
"He was very scared," Marci Condon, whose son Jack fell ill, told ABC 7. "He's still very sick today. He hasn't gotten out of his room today. He has a fever, the chills. He's sweating."
The numbers continued to climb on Tuesday.
"I was vomiting, I had diarrhea, I had a fever, I had everything," Kacie Johnston, who stayed home from school on Monday, told ABC 7.
Another student's mother said that she messaged other parents whose children were in immediate care and at the hospital.
School officials are asking parents to contact the dean’s office to provide additional information about when their child became sick, what kind of food they consumed, and what other activities they took part in over the weekend. Students were also given a questionnaire at school on Tuesday.
“We are deeply saddened that illness has dampened what was otherwise a very positive and memorable prom for our students,” Andrew principal Bob Nolting said, according to the Chicago Tribune.