A group of more than 50 British schoolchildren and teachers have been hospitalised after being struck down with “a virulent gastro virus” while on a school trip to Washington DC.
The 48 pupils and five staff from Crookhorn College, Waterlooville, Hampshire, fell ill while staying in the US capital but they are all now recovering “under observation” at their hotel.
The school said in a statement: “The college trip to the USA comprising of 48 students and five staff have been struck by a virulent gastro virus that has affected most of the party during their time in New York and Washington.
“The main priority since the outbreak of the virus has been the safety and welfare of the students and staff and keeping the families in this country informed of events.
“All members of the trip are now well into recovery and are being kept under observation at their hotel in Washington. A further member of staff has flown in to join the group to give assistance to the staff who are there and further support to the students.
“The staff who are in the US have done the most amazing job at looking after the children and the college has had fantastic support in this country from Hampshire County Council.
“Our main priority now is to ensure that all the students and staff get home safe and well.”
The mother of one of the girls affected told MailOnline: “Her trip has been completely ruined.
“She’s FaceTimed us every day, but she’s still been hospitalised. She’s back on the drips again now and it’s very distressing for everyone.
“We’ve had to save up from the start to send her, so it’s just heartbreaking.”
The group became ill over the weekend when one of the teenagers suffered “gastrointestinal distress” before the others started to fall ill, according to the New York Post.
They were taken to four local hospitals as a precaution and an investigation by the local health authorities was under way, the newspaper reported.