December 1, 2015
On Friday, November 20th, we had a significant number of students home ill with gastroenteritis (vomiting &/or diarrhea). Working with our local Public Health Authority, lab results have confirmed the cause of this illness as the “Noro virus”.
We have disinfected, and continue to follow all of the recommendations from our local health department.
Steps that you can take at home to protect your family include:
• Careful and regular handwashing with soap and water, especially after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food.
• Do not prepare food while infected. Throw away food that was prepared by a person who has been ill.
• Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces.
• Areas touched by vomiting or diarrhea need to be disinfected with a bleach solution,using 1 ½ Cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Wipe the vomit or diarrhea up, using gloves, then follow with the bleach solution. It should stay on the surface for at least 5 minutes before you wipe it up.
• Areas that need regular disinfection- like doorknobs, faucets, sinks, toilets, phones, counters, tables, light switches- need a bleach solution of 1/3 c bleach to 1 gallon of water.
• The bleach solution must be made daily with bleach that has not been open for more than 30 days.
• Over the counter bleach wipes do not kill Norovirus unless it is specifically listed.
• At Holiday gatherings and potlucks, take care that all food is only served with utensils.
Students who have had vomiting or diarrhea need to stay home until they have not had any symptoms for 72 hours.
This virus is highly contagious and lives in the stool and vomit of infected persons for as long as 2 weeks after recovery.
We will continue to monitor and respond to this outbreak, and will update you if recommendations change.