Possible norovirus outbreak sickens students at Dublin elementary school

DUBLIN (KRON) — A possible norovirus outbreak has sickened dozens of students at an East Bay elementary school, according to school officials.

One case of norovirus and one serious stomach flu were reported on Monday to Alameda County health officials by a doctor of a Dublin elementary school student, county health officials said.

Several kids in a Dublin Elementary School fifth-grade class became ill and were sent home Friday. A letter was sent home to parents and the school spent the weekend cleaning and disinfecting the classroom and school.

“It’s been a thorough cleaning up to this point,” Dublin Unified School District spokeswoman Michelle McDonald said.

On Monday, 70 students stayed home sick. 35 of those that stayed home suffered stomach flu symptoms. 47 students stayed home sick on Tuesday and 46 are still home Wednesday.

Thirty-seven students were out on Tuesday and that included students out for reasons other than being sick.

School officials have confirmed that one student was diagnosed with Norovirus and about three dozen students were out of class on Tuesday with symptoms consistent with viral gastroenteritis.

School officials are urging sick students to stay home until they are free of all symptoms for at least 48 hours.

Until this matter is under control, the school district is doubling cleaning crews to ensure that the school if free of this virus.

If you think you have been exposed to the norovirus here are the CDC’s recommendations.

Custodians and maintenance employees have been cleaning all areas of the school since this weekend.

What caused the student to get the virus hasn’t been determined, McDonald said.

The student who is sick is getting well, McDonald said.

Officials with the Alameda County Public Health Department visited the school and gave cleaning crews guidance on the cleanup, health department spokeswoman Sherri Willis said.

County health officials can provide information on doctors and insurance to families with a sick child without either, but no one in the health department treats sick students, Willis said.

Statement from school:

DUBLIN ELEMENTARY EXPERIENCES VIRAL GASTROENTERITIS OUTBREAK
School and district officials working closely with County Health Department
to prevent further spread of illness

Dublin Elementary School is experiencing an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis and school and Dublin Unified School District officials are working closely with the Alameda County Department of Health to contain and prevent further spread of illness.

The District has confirmed that one student has been diagnosed with Norovirus, also known as the “Norwalk Virus”, and approximately three dozen students were out of class on Tuesday with symptoms consistent with viral gastroenteritis.
Families were initially notified by school administration on Friday that a group of students were experiencing symptoms commonly ascribed to the “stomach flu”, including vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping and low-grade fever. The campus was deep-cleaned over the weekend, utilizing more than 19 staff and 150 work hours. Work has continued into the week, under the guidance of the Alameda County Department of Health, which was on campus on Tuesday. Custodial staff assigned to the site has been doubled and will remain at those high levels indefinitely out of an abundance of caution for students, staff and families.

The County has provided guidance and feedback on specific cleaning and infection control measures, which will continue to be carried out by district staff until the spread of virus is contained. The District and the site continue to follow all recommended protocols to impede the potential spread of the virus. In addition to classrooms that have already been deep-cleaned, we are cleaning common spaces on campus, playground equipment and all “touch points” that could serve as a source of spread of illness.

Parents of affected students have been contacted to assure they are receiving appropriate medical attention. Families have been advised to keep students home who are showing symptoms. We are reminding families to encourage their students to wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after using the toilet and prior to eating.

Students who are experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea should not return to school for at least two full day after symptoms have ended. We are appreciative of support we have received from our families and staff.

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