Hundreds of students sickened by suspected stomach bug at South Bay schools

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of students at San Jose elementary schools have fallen ill from a likely norovirus outbreak.

The fast-spreading stomach bug has school district employees working overtime to disinfect 10 campuses.

The first cases were reported here about two weeks ago. Ultimately, 80 kids at this school caught the bug and it spread through the district from there.

Cleanup crews are attacking the germs with a bleach solution, taking aim at countertops, desks and chairs. Outside the classrooms, the playground is off limits.

"The best we can do is tamp it down and make sure it doesn't spread," said Peter Allen of the San Jose police.

The San Jose unified school District reports 200 cases across 10 campuses. It's not confirmed Norovirus... But all signs point to the aggressive stomach bug. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The district's advice to parents is to "make sure if your kids are experiencing symptoms make sure you, one, report it to the school," said Allen. "Make sure they know especially if you are keeping them out and then if you do keep them out of school make sure they're home for a couple days without any symptoms before they come back."

As a precaution, the principal at Hacienda canceled open house, art night and a book fair to help prevent spread. Another piece of prevention advice, frequent and thorough handwashing.

Here is a list of the schools affected:
John Muir Middle School

Hacienda Environmental Science Magnet School
Anne Darling Elementary
Horace Mann Elementary
Olinder Elementary
Washington Elementary
Grant Elementary
Terrell Elementary

Willow Glen Elementary
Carson Elementary

Norovirus prevention tips:
The Center for Disease Control says to prevent noroviruses you should wash your hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and water and always wash your hands before eating, preparing or handling food.

They also say you can use hand sanitizers but they should not be used as a substitute for hand washing.

Those who fear they have been in contact with a norovirus should clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces. Laundry should also be paid close attention to and washed thoroughly.

Click here for more tips on how to protect yourself and your family from noroviruses.
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