Kids in Bengaluru fall sick, elite school blames 'inadequate hand hygiene'

Parents did an internal survey to know how many kids were sick. To their shock, the number crossed 100
Last Updated 10 August 2022, 02:43 IST

Children studying at an elite international school on Whitefield-Sarjapur road fell sick during class hours last week, an incident that has created unease among parents, with the institution claiming there is "nothing to worry" about.

The International School Bangalore (TISB) has ruled out food poisoning despite parents saying that some students had to be hospitalised with severe vomiting and an upset stomach.

According to parents, some kids started throwing up a few hours after consuming food at the cafeteria on August 3. "First, we were told that kids at the school's boarding had this issue. Later, even day scholars suffered and the school switched to online teaching citing heavy rains," one parent said.

When more kids fell sick and parents approached the school, TISB sent an e-mail Friday last saying that the source of sickness was "inadequate hand hygiene."

The email, which DH accessed, stated: "Resident doctor at the school concluded that the sickness is not caused by the food, plastic trays or poor kitchen hygiene, but is transmitted by the inadequate hand hygiene of the students. It is potentially difficult to find the initial source of sickness, but we have identified the key points of transmission namely, the cafeteria, classroom tables and physical contact with other students."

Surprised, parents did an internal survey to know how many kids were sick. To their shock, the number crossed 100.

"My son complained of unbearable stomach pain. He threw up as soon as he returned from school," one parent said. "He was fine with home food. How can lack of hand hygiene cause such illness to so many kids at a time?"

Apparently, a similar incident had taken place in May 2022. Back then, the number of children affected was not this high.

TISB chairman-founder KP Gopalkrishna told DH that only two students were sick and it was due to a viral infection. "A team of doctors from Narayana Health City visited the campus. We even sent food samples to a lab. Everything is negative and there was no bacteria infection. Earlier also a similar thing happened and there's nothing to worry. We have maintained highest hygiene and safety measures," he said.

Doubtful parents, however, are demanding a thorough investigation. "Let them allow parents to have the cafeteria food tested at an independent lab," one parent demanded. Another parent said this cannot be ignored. "The kids were so weak this time, they kept throwing up for two days."

(Published 09 August 2022, 16:32 IST)

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