An outbreak of Norovirus has swept through Mountain Meadows Elementary.
Director of secondary education Mike Hagadone said the school noticed “a number of kids” were experiencing flu-like symptoms during the May 6 school day.
Hagadone said many of the students did not come to school, but several kids left during the day.
“If 10 percent of kids are out with a specific set of symptoms, then the health department recommends we close the school,” Hagadone said. “We didn’t meet that 10 percent, so our decision was to keep school open today and communicate with parents.”
Hagadone said the school district is still compiling how many students are out of school with the virus as of the morning of May 7.
“We clearly are working and supporting parents,” Hagadone said. “If a parent feels like they need to keep their child home because they don’t want them to get sick, we will support that.”
Mountain Meadows went through a deep cleaning last night, which included scrubbing down classrooms, the playground and school busses with a chlorine or bleach solution.
Hagadone also said a handful of teachers are absent as well, but the school isn’t having trouble covering classrooms.
According to the CDC, Norovirus is highly contagious and is the most common cause of food-borne disease outbreaks in the US.
Norovirus is most contagious during the time an infected person shows symptoms, but also for the first few days after the person recovers.
Symptoms are flu-like, including diarrhea, nausea, throwing up, body aches, and stomach pains.
According to the CDC, it takes between 12 to 48 hours to develop symptoms, and recovery time varies between one to three days.
Sharing drinks and food is a common way to share the virus, but touching the same surfaces as an infected person can transfer the infection.
Because Norovirus is not a bacterial infection, it cannot be treated with antibiotics, and the CDC recommends drinking plenty of fluids to counteract any dehydration caused by Norovirus symptoms.
Reach Ray Still at email@example.com or 360-825-2555 ext. 5058. Follow him on Twitter @rayscottstill for more news, pictures and local events.