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St. Ed students sent home on bug scare

Classes to resume today

November 30, 2011
By BILL SHEA Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

The regular routine is expected to return to St. Edmond Elementary School today in the wake of a possible bed bug scare, according to an official of the Fort Dodge school.

''We're expecting everything to be back to normal,'' Mary Lynn Biggins, the school's director of marketing and public information, said Tuesday evening.

She said the 75 preschool and kindergarten students sent home Tuesday are expected to be back in class.

She added that an exterminator has placed some traps in the building to see if any of the insects are present.

The students were sent home after a school nurse discovered marks on a student that may have been caused by the small insects that feed on blood. All other students remained in class.

School officials decided to send the students home. Their decision was supported by the Webster County Health Department.

''In general, school environments are not conducive to bug infestations,'' Kari Prescott, director of the Health Department, said in a written statement. ''However, schools can be a transition site for bed bugs that can hitchhike to and from the school on personal items such as clothing or backpacks.''

Prescott said no bed bugs were sighted at the school.

Biggins said school officials are trying to determine if the marks were caused by bed bugs.

Bed bugs are small wingless insects that are most active at night. Their bites don't initially hurt, but result in itchy welts similar to mosquito bites, according to the Health Department. The bites do not spread disease, the department reported.

Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or



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