As experts try to determine what is causing a rash-like skin irritation in students and staff members at Lake Forest Elementary School, five more cases have been reported to district members, officials announced during a meeting Wednesday.
About 30 students and 10 staff members at the school had the reaction, but now other schools in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District have reported having issues.
“There were several clusters that became very swollen and itchy around my waist and behind my knees, in the crease on the backs of my legs,” said an affected woman who did not want to be identified.
The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District has ruled out mosquitos as the culprit, but the agency is still unsure what is causing the symptoms.
The school was sprayed with pesticides last weekend and officials plan to do so again.
Mother Jennifer Dublin found a new bite on her daughter after the campus was sprayed.
“I’m very concerned. I’m thinking about keeping my daughter out for the rest of the week at least,” she said.
Dublin said that if the school had communicated the issue earlier, parents might not have been worried that they had bed bugs at home.
At the meeting, many parents were upset about the school’s lack of transparency and answers.
Lake Forest Councilman Adam Nick said it was that was “unacceptable.”
“Students are still coming to school. Maybe they should have shut down the school,” he said.