WILLMAR (AP) -- Elementary school officials urged blood tests for 20 pupils who shared two lancets to prick their fingers during a science class project, possibly exposing them to each other's blood.
On Monday, sixth-graders in two classrooms at Roosevelt Elementary School were testing blood sugar levels as part of a class project. Two lancets were used among 20 students, according to a letter from Principal Patti Dols.
On Tuesday, the school sent a letter to parents telling them of the incident and asking them to have their children's blood drawn to be tested for Hepatitis B and C, and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
While parents are not legally required to comply, the school warned that "we will not be able to determine whether you have been infected" without the blood tests.
The school district is conducting an internal investigation into the incident, which involved one teacher, said Superintendent Kathy Leedom. She would not discuss further details.
The situation is not uncommon, said Dr. Richard Danila, acute disease epidemiology manager for the state Department of Health.
"We get these calls too often, or some sort of variation of it," such as a child sticking others with a pin, he said Wednesday. "The risk is really quite low."
The likelihood that any of the children, all sixth-graders, were carrying any of the viruses is small, Danila said.
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