Northbrooks school camp cut short because of stomach flu, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Northbrooks school camp cut short because of stomach flu

A three-day camp for all Secondary 1 students from Northbrooks Secondary School in Yishun was cut short on Feb 29 when 26 students and a teacher fell ill after eating food provided at the camp.

As at March 1, 27 people from the school were reported to have developed gastroenteritis, the Singapore Food Agency and Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a joint reply to The Straits Times’ queries on March 4.

Gastroenteritis is commonly known as stomach flu and its symptoms include nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.

No one was hospitalised, the two agencies said, adding that they are investigating the incident.

In a letter sent at about 12.50pm on Feb 29 through Parents Gateway, an app for schools to contact parents, Northbrooks said some students showed “gastroenteritis symptoms” during its Sec 1 cohort camp.

A total of 246 students participated in the camp, which was supposed to run from Feb 28 to March 1.

The letter, from the school’s principal, Mr David Lau, informed parents that students would be dismissed on Feb 29 at 1.30pm, and they would “rest at home” on March 1.

The letter said the decision was made in consultation with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and MOH to “prevent the potential spread of the situation, and to ensure the well-being of everyone involved in our camp programme”.

“In addition, the school is implementing sanitisation and cleaning procedures according to MOH’s guidelines and protocols to minimise the risk of further transmission,” it added.

In the evening on Feb 29, an MOH surveillance submission form and a container to collect a stool sample were delivered to their home. Prior to that, Mrs Chan had filled up an online form from MOH with questions about what her daughter ate, when she fell ill and more.

According to messages sent to a WhatsApp chat group with parents of Sec 1 students, students were given catered meals that included fried rice, chicken and scrambled eggs during lunch and dinner, as well as marble cake for supper.

Based on the camp schedule seen by ST, students participated in activities such as trekking at the Southern Ridges, dragon boating at Kallang and orienteering at Yishun Park. There were one-hour slots for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a night snack throughout the day.

Secondary SchoolSTUDENTSMinistry of HealthEducationYishun