Illness outbreak at Prattville church prompts investigation

Illness outbreak at Prattville church prompts investigation
First Baptist Church of Prattville had to cancel Vacation Bible School due to multiple illnesses. The Alabama Dept. of Public Health is now looking for the cause. (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health has opened an outbreak investigation after multiple people at a Prattville church fell ill.

First Baptist Church of Prattville said in a social media post that it was going to “clean and disinfect the buildings thoroughly" before re-starting its Vacation Bible School classes on Thursday.

Church officials later updated their efforts, canceling VBS for the rest of the week because many of its leaders were still sick with a “stomach virus outbreak.”

Due to this week's stomach virus outbreak, and with many of our leaders still sick, we are cancelling VBS for the...

Posted by First Baptist Church - Prattville, Alabama on Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The exact number of people affected was not immediately known.

Arrol Sheehan with ADPH said Thursday there isn’t currently any indication that a community-wide outbreak exists, but added the state health department is looking for the cause of the illnesses that have been reported in the area.

ADPH opens an outbreak investigation when it hears about multiple people in the same area falling ill with the same symptoms in an effort to find the cause and determine if it’s truly an outbreak.

ADPH is currently conducting phone interviews and collecting specimens for testing. Once health officials determine what’s happening, they can put in place control measures, such as medications, to prevent further spread.

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