April 7, 2023

Attendees from Metro, Other States Report Getting Sick Following Event

Independence, MO: The Jackson County Health Department (JACOHD) is investigating an outbreak of an unidentified gastrointestinal illness among attendees at a robotics competition at Lee’s Summit North High School from March 29th through April 1st. 

So far more than seventy cases, with no diagnosis included, have been reported and tied to the event. The majority of affected participants were from the metro area. Since many competing teams were from schools outside of Jackson County (including Kansas, Oklahoma, and Brazil), JACOHD is coordinating with the local health departments of affected participants as we investigate these reports. On Monday, JACOHD epidemiologists received the first reports of sick attendees.

At this time, the risk to the general public is low: reported symptoms from this outbreak are mild and include chills, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, and a low-grade fever. The majority of reported cases resolved within 48 hours without medical intervention.

The health department has reached out to attendees with a survey to gather more information about those who have been affected or who may have been exposed. JACOHD encourages participants to complete the survey in a timely fashion to assist with this ongoing investigation.

The cause of transmission and the exact nature of the illness affecting participants is still being investigated. This investigation is rapidly evolving, with new cases and information continuing to be reported to us. 

Any attendees continuing to experience symptoms can contact their local health department for more information about available testing resources. 

Key information for participants at Lee’s Summit North High School’s robotics competition (March 29 – April 1):

If you or a household member were associated with this event, the Jackson County Health Department encourages you to complete our survey so that we can gather more information. This survey was sent out through your competition coordinator. If you did not receive a survey, please reach out to our Epidemiology division at JacksonCountyCD@uhkc.org

Common symptoms include chills, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, and a low-grade fever. The vast majority of sick participants recovered at home within 48 hours without medical intervention.

Those who become ill should drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration. If someone you are caring for becomes severely dehydrated, seek medical attention immediately.

About the Jackson County Health Department: We offer services, provide programs, and advocate for policies so that all people have a fair and just opportunity to be healthy. Learn more at www.jacohd.org