Father Judge High School to reopen Thursday

December 8, 2011 4:49:40 AM PST
After being declared safe by officials, Father Judge High School will reopen on Thursday after dozens of people suffered severe eye irritation during a weekend event.

The administration of Father Judge High School was notified on Tuesday afternoon by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health that it was safe for its school to be open to students after extensive testing.

Father Judge officials said the results of those tests, which were received Wednesday afternoon, could not conclusively point to the source of the eye and skin irritation experienced by visitors to the school last Sunday.

The Philadelphia Police, Fire, and Public Health Departments have investigated the situation. Officials say continued presence of hazardous materials or agents has been ruled out.

A cheerleading competition was held at the school on Sunday and some who attended began having symptoms shortly after arriving - others fell ill later in the evening. At last check as many as 50 people had taken themselves to area hospitals for treatment.

Angela Milio described the sensation, telling Action News, "I don't know how to explain the feeling, but it felt like [my eyes] were on fire."

Milio's eyes were red and swollen at the time of the interview. She and her daughter, Paige, had been putting warm compresses on their eyes, trying to flush whatever had been burning them since they left Father Judge High School Sunday afternoon.

Angela said, "When we were at the gym they were just burning and they just kept watering."

Paige Milio explained, "I blinked once, we got in the car and I couldn't open my eyes. And when I did it looked like I was crying for hours."

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