High school dance linked outbreak in MI

I guess I thought it was cool in high school (and it seems much nerdier now) but I was a member of my school’s dance committee. Not the dancing team, but the group that organized the dances. Living in small town Ontario (that’s in Canada) there wasn’t a whole lot to do on Friday nights so the dances were pretty well attended. Once a month our student government (we were so formal) hired a DJ from the big city (usually Oshawa) and we danced the night away to Guns ‘n’ Roses, Metallica, Snoop Dogg and Boys II Men. It was awesome, and a lot like Napoleon Dynamite.

A Michigan high school’s dance has led to some post-event excitement this week as a GI outbreak has struck the attendees.

The Hudsonville-based school is closed today and tomorrow after nearly 25 percent of the student body called in sick yesterday. Ottawa County health officials say the students are suffering from an undisclosed gastrointestinal ailment that may have been spread during a school dance last week.

There was lots of barfing at/after our dances as well, but rarely was it outbreak-related; more likely peach schnapps was the causative agent.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.