Sykesville Middle School students at the Outdoor School were dismissed early Thursday afternoon because of an outbreak of bed bugs, Carroll County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Steven Johnson confirmed.
Johnson said there are at least two cabins at the Outdoor School, located at the Hashawha Environmental Center near Westminster, that have bed bugs. If there are bugs in just one cabin, usually they can mitigate it, he said.
“[With at least two cabins], we feel like it’s best if we get the students out early,” he said.
Students were released to go back to Sykesville Middle around 1 p.m., he said. Any belongings in the infested cabins would be going back sealed and transported to the school in a bus by themselves, Johnson said.
Bug bite borne illnessess are on the rise across the United States. Ticks, mosquitos and fleas carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain fever, Zika, chikungunya and even plague, and cases of such illnesses tripled between 2004 and 2016.