"Disease investigation" underway after 90 students fall ill

School closes for sick students

RUSSELLVILLE, Mo. - The Cole County Health Department has launched a "disease investigation" after dozens of students got sick at a Russellville school.

Cole R-1 Elementary and Middle School officials said over 90 students were sick this week.

On Tuesday, parents reported about 60 absences at the kindergarten through 8th grade facility. Then on Wednesday, around 80 students called in sick.

Superintendent Jerry Hobbs told ABC 17 News Thursday the illness lasts for about six hours with symptoms including vomiting.

The cause is still under investigation, but so far, leaders believe they have ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning and food poisoning.

The Cole County Health Department is taking samples from sick or recently sick students to conduct tests.

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