More children fall ill after visiting Shedd prior to students getting sick after prom

CHICAGO – More children have been sickened after visiting the Shedd Aquarium.

Those children were sickened less than two weeks before dozens of high school seniors became ill after their prom. Many are now wondering if there is a link.

The Archdiocese confirmed 15 kindergarteners got sick after visiting the Shedd Aquarium on April 17.

“When I saw the article on all the kids getting sick at prom this weekend it's like whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute,” Karen Rottier, a parent, said.

Rottier chaperoned a field trip to the Shedd Aquarium on April 17. Her youngest son, 6-year-old William, is a kindergartener at Saint Clement School in Chicago. Later that night, she said he started vomiting violently.

“It seems like some sort of virus some sort of bug but the onset of symptoms was so quick it was a little scary,” she said.

The next day, the school alerted parents that 15 out of the 52 students who had gone on the trip had come down with flu-like symptoms.

That was more than a week before Andrew high school held its prom at the Shedd Aquarium. In an update sent to parents on Wednesday, the high school's principal said the number has risen to 120 students who reported being ill after attending prom. As of Wednesday, 80 percent of those students returned to school symptom-free.

“Is there a relationship between those two events? I know one of things that came up was food related poisoning but none of our kids ate at the Shedd. They all had bag lunches,” Rottier said.

In a statement earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Shedd said they did not believe there were any safety concerns related to food or drink being served to guests.

While the source of the sickness is still unclear, Rottier's older son had a field trip to the Shedd on Wednesday that went on as scheduled.

“My personal discussion was, ‘Be sure you're washing hands. Don't touch anything use the hand sanitizer,’” she said.

The county and city health departments are investigating.