This spring break will be one students in the De Soto High School Band won’t soon forget — and not just because it included a field trip to New York City.
About 50 De Soto High School band students and chaperones had started home from New York when dozens fell ill and had to stop at a Pennsylvania hospital Wednesday to be treated for food poisoning.
The group was scheduled to eat dinner Tuesday evening at a restaurant in the Little Italy area of the city before departing about 9 p.m. to return home, school district spokesman Alvie Cater said. The Pennsylvania Department of Health, in cooperation with its New York counterpart was conducting interviews to pinpoint the source of the illness.
Members of the group began getting sick late Tuesday and — after stopping at rest stops throughout the night — called for an ambulance Wednesday morning when they determined at least one member of the group needed immediate attention, said Robin Jennings, a spokeswoman from Excela Health Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, Pa.
Jennings said the hospital treated about 40 students and 10 adults, administering intravenous fluids to some and sending others off with anti-nausea medication and Gatorade.
“Their goal is to go home,” Jennings said. “This was to help them be able to do that as quickly as possible.”
Jennings said emergency crews notified the hospital in advance that, along with the patient the ambulance was called for, dozens more victims would be arriving for treatment. She said hospital staff treated the students first, then the adults.
Cater said the group, which consisted of 164 students and chaperones on three buses, was back on the road by 2 p.m. Wednesday.
“Two of the parents on the trip are registered nurses, so that was very helpful,” Cater said.
The band and chaperones left De Soto Friday to take part in Broadway Classroom, an organization that works with schools to learn and perform Broadway music. Cater said the band had been planning and fundraising for the trip for two years.
“They said it was a great trip, they had a blast. It’s just this last leg,” he said. “It’s going to be a trip they’ll remember, that’s for sure.”