(FOX/CNS) - Eight students at a South Los Angeles elementary school became ill today shortly after the lunch period, with their symptoms mirroring those experienced by nearly 20 students at a Watts-area school last week.
According to the Los Angeles Unified School District, eight students at Dolores Huerta Elementary School, 260 E. 31st St., reported being ill at about 12:50 p.m. District officials said their symptoms were similar to those experienced by students at Ritter Elementary School on Friday.
District officials said they were investigating the cause of the illnesses at both schools, but said testing on samples of food served to students at Ritter Elementary last week came back negative for food-borne illnesses. The district noted that not all of the children who became ill on Friday ate the same meals, reducing the chance that the sicknesses were the result of school lunches.
Paramedics were called around 12:30 p.m. Friday to Ritter Elementary, 11108 Watts Ave., and treated 16 children at the scene and took one to a hospital at the request of the student's parents, according to Bernard Peters, supervising dispatcher with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
LAUSD officials have been working with the county Department of Public Health to determine if some type of communicable disease or viral illness could have been passed among the students.
Parents of students at both Ritter and Huerta elementary schools will be provided with information and tips about preventing the spread of illnesses --including recommendations for hand-washing and keeping students home from school if they have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, according to the LAUSD.