Illness hits student conference in Vail |

Illness hits student conference in Vail

VAIL — Some kind of gastrointestinal illness Monday sickened some of the approximately 2,000 high school students from around the state attending the annual Future Business Leaders of America event.

The Eagle County Public Health department reports that seven students were taken to the emergency room at Vail Valley Medical Center on Monday evening. The students reported symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. The students were all treated and released.

Tuesday was go-home day for the students, and all the students had headed for home by late afternoon.

Students from Fort Collins were staying at the Sebastian Hotel in Vail, and were among those who became ill Monday. Lance Thompson, general manager at the Sebastian, said all but one of the students went home on a school bus Tuesday. That student was picked up by a parent who’d driven to Vail.

Thompson said the hotel, which hosts families from around the world, has a procedure in place to clean up rooms and common areas in case a guest, or group of guests, become ill during their stay. That procedure was followed and the areas where sick kids stayed have all be cleaned, he said.

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Thompson said the hotel also has quick access to health care professionals in case guests become sick.

Thompson said Tuesday it had been “a long day” at the hotel but added he’s proud of the way his staff responded. The response was made somewhat easier by the fact that only a handful of people were checking in on the day the students were leaving.

County health officials are working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to determine the cause of the illness.

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