Possible norovirus outbreak at Dublin Elementary School

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ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Possible norovirus outbreak at Dublin Elementary School
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An East Bay school is trying to scrub away a virus that appears to be getting many students ill.

DUBLIN, Calif. (KGO) -- An East Bay school is trying to scrub away a virus that appears to be getting many students ill.

There were 35 kids who stayed home from Dublin Elementary School with symptoms of norovirus on Monday. There are 46 absent on Wednesday, which is about the same as Tuesday, but they haven't tracked how many might be symptomatic yet.

The parents that did bring their kids to school are concerned but pleased with how the school is handling the situation.

"We are taking every precaution out of an abundance of caution. We have doubled our custodial staff. We had people working throughout the weekend to clean the campus. Alameda County Department of Health was here yesterday to guide us and give us feedback on our cleaning practices," school district spokesperson Michelle McDonald said.

There is one confirmed case of norovirus and dozens of others who are sick but haven't officially been tested.

When asked if any children have gotten sick at school, McDonald said yes but it gets taken care of quickly.

This all started on Friday. Parents have also kicked into cleaning overdrive. "I'm a little scared for my kids. Obviously I don't want us to get it either as an adult. But I'll just wash the hands and just be more cautious and not share food and things like that," parent Randy Fong said.

The school has sent emails to parents every day since this happened, keeping them updated and reminding them to keep sick kids home.

Parents say they appreciate being armed with the information. "I think they are doing a good job of containing it and the teachers have been really good about enforcing hand washing and all that kid of stuff. Everyone's doing the best they can," parent Shauna Merrill said.

One thing they're stressing is that if your child is sick, don't send them back to school until they're symptom-free for 48 hours.

They're hoping to eradicate this thing in the next few days. They do have spring break coming up the first week of April, so that will help wipe the slate clean.

Symptoms of illness caused by norovirus:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramping
  • Sometimes people have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and a general sense of tiredness.
  • The illness often begins suddenly and the infected person may feel very sick.
  • The illness is usually brief, with symptoms lasting about 1 or 2 days.
  • In general, children experience more vomiting than adults.

What parents should do if you think your child may have norovirus:

  • Please encourage your child to wash his/her hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after using the toilet and prior to eating.
  • If your child has 'stomach flu-like' symptoms, including upset stomach, vomiting and/or diarrhea, please keep your child home from school.
  • If your child has vomiting and/or diarrhea, it is important that your child DOES NOT return to school until at least 2 full days (48 hours) AFTER the symptoms have ended AND your child feels better.
  • It is also recommended that your child not attend any group events such as birthday parties, clubs or sports teams, etc. until at least 48 hours after symptoms have ended.

Click here for a Q&A from the CDC.