CHICAGO (CBS) – More than 100 students from Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park are reported to have flu-like symptoms after attending their prom dance at the Shedd Aquarium on Friday.
High School District 230 confirmed that 111 students from Andrew High School became sick after prom.
The Cook County Department of Public Health, Shedd Aquarium, Sodexo, and Victor J. Andrew High School are investigating the source of the illness.
The CCDPH says the symptoms of the students seem consistent with Norovirus, but are still waiting for lab results for confirmation.
A questionnaire will be given to students regarding where they were in the days leading up to the prom.
The Principal of Andrew High School, Bob Nolting, released a statement saying, “We have many individuals who work very hard on creating a prom experience that is enjoyable and meaningful. It is saddening to see the excitement of an otherwise positive and memorable event dampened by this situation.” Nolting said the school administration is working to identify the cause of the illness and cleaning the school building overnight as a precaution.
Vice President of Communications and Public Relations at The Shedd Aquarium, Andrea Rodgers, released a statement that said, “The care and well-being of all our guests is a top priority for the Shedd Aquarium and something that is taken very seriously. Upon learning Monday morning about alleged food-related illness reported by a number of students who attended the Victor J. Andrew High School Prom at the aquarium Friday evening, Shedd Aquarium management notified our food service provider, Sodexo, and Sodexo leadership began to take immediate action to investigate further. Shedd and Sodexo are in regular contact with the school’s administrative office and have reported all known details to the Chicago Department of Public Health. At this time, we do not believe there are any safety concerns related to food or drink being served to our guests visiting the aquarium. We also confirmed no further incidents have been reported with subsequent private catering guests. Sodexo services at Shedd Aquarium has a longstanding, strong performance in food safety and commitment to maintain strict adherence to food safety procedures that lead to clean, safe operations and nutritious food. We welcome health inspections and aggressively self-monitor, as well.”
A spokesperson for Sodexo released a statement saying, “The safety, health and wellbeing of our clients and customers is our top priority. We are aware of the alleged food-related illness at the Shedd Aquarium, which has affected students from Victor J. Andrew High School. We are conducting a thorough internal investigation in close partnership with the Shedd team and the local health officials. We are committed to food safety and have enjoyed a longstanding and strong performance of food safety procedures and operations at Shedd Aquarium.”
400 students attended the prom event.