An example of a mosquito rash, not the rash discussed in the story. Via Wikimedia Commons.
An example of a mosquito rash, not the rash discussed in the story. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Was your kid a rash victim at an Orange County school?

A recent rash outbreak at a Lake Forest elementary school where students and staff have been afflicted prompted live pest testings Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Saddleback Valley Unified School District said.

The source of the rashes is a serious whodunit, said Jared Dever of the Vector Control District.

“Dozens of traps have been laid for the past week and a half,” he said. “What we’re looking for is a wide variety of biting or stinging insects.”

After an initial investigation of the campus, “we ruled out mosquitoes and other types of vectors,” Dever said. “That led us to look for different types of biting or stinging insects.”

The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District did a “follow-up assessment” Wednesday morning, said Tammy Blakely, assistant to the superintendent of the school district.

The test results came back negative, however, the entire campus will be sprayed this weekend.

The tests Wednesday morning “came back negative for any live pests,” Blakely said. “Out of an extreme abundance of caution, the entire campus will be sprayed again this weekend, both inside and outside classrooms, and all field areas to ensure that all concerns have been addressed.”

So far, about 30 students and 10 staff members have been afflicted with the rash, which was first reported on Sept. 15.

District officials are working with the Vector Control District, the Orange County Health Care Agency, the city of Lake Forest and Safety First Pest Control to “identify and address the issue” of the outbreak of rashes, Blakely said.

It’s unlikely bed bugs are the culprit because they’re noticeable and usually strike when victims are asleep and immobile, Dever said.

An outbreak of this size was “infrequent,” he said.

–City News Service 

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