An undisclosed number of students at Lindenhurst High School fell...

An undisclosed number of students at Lindenhurst High School fell ill after a trip to Italy, the district said Monday.  Credit: Barry Sloan

A group of Lindenhurst High School students who traveled to Italy over the winter break fell ill on their flight home, district officials said Monday.

Officials believe the students could have the flu, norovirus or salmonella, as opposed to COVID-19, the coronavirus that has sickened more than 79,000 people and killed over 2,500 people around the globe.

While the epicenter of the virus is China, cases in Italy have surged in recent days with 229 people testing positive for the virus. Seven people have died.

In a letter to the Lindenhurst community dated Monday, Superintendent Daniel Giordano said school nurses have been in touch with the Suffolk County Health Department.

He said the agency has “expressed confidence that the gastric symptoms being displayed by our students are more aligned with a diagnosis of norovirus, the flu or possibly even salmonella and are in no way reflective of the respiratory symptoms or symptoms of pneumonia which accompany” COVID-19.

Suffolk County Health Department officials confirmed the agency has heard from the Lindenhurst School District and said no one in the county is under investigation for the coronavirus.

The Lindenhurst students left on February 13 for a trip that included visits to Rome, Venice and Florence. They returned on Sunday.

About a dozen towns in northern Italy are under quarantine — with police-manned checkpoints — in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Officials said on the flight home, several students experienced stomach problems and fever.


The district urged anyone with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever to see their doctor and be tested for the flu.

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