Officials of the Houston Independent School District and the City of Houston Health Department are still reviewing medical information and student statements to determine the cause of an illness that sickened 22 members of the Austin High School drill team and band during a football game on Friday, November 4, 2011. Those students were treated at area hospitals after exhibiting various symptoms including difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting.
The investigation so far has determined that there was an elevated level of exposure to carbon monoxide at the triage area outside the stadium where ambulances and fire engines responded to the scene. Officials believe these elevated carbon monoxide levels may have been caused by idling engines belonging to emergency equipment. At least two students obtained medical reports that showed an elevated level of carbon monoxide in their blood stream.
Meanwhile, city health inspectors and a private firm, hired by HISD, have given Barnett Stadium a clean bill of health. Inspections and air quality checks were conducted on drainage systems, plumbing and electrical systems at the stadium and the adjoining field house. The stadium kitchen was also inspected.
As a precaution, games scheduled for Barnett for this week were moved prior to the conclusion of the tests. The Wheatley versus Waltrip game will be played at Delmar Stadium at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The Reagan versus Worthing game will be played at Delmar Stadium at 7 p.m., on Saturday evening.
Playoff games will resume at the stadium next week. The participants are subject to the results of the games, this week.
City health inspectors also conducted tests on the HISD buses that transported Austin students to the game. Those buses demonstrated no problems with air emissions.