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Local schools inform parents about norovirus stomach flu

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The norovirus has affected many schools and hospitals across Alachua County. After an outbreak last week in a senior-living community in Gainesville, local schools are taking precautions to help prevent an outbreak.

The norovirus can cause stomach cramping, fever, diarrhea and vomiting. The virus can be a risky infection for some people, but the symptoms generally only last only two days.

Six elderly residents at the Atrium at Gainesville, an independent-senior-living community, have contracted the norovirus, and officials fear the virus could spread. The virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted from contaminated food, drinks, surfaces and contact with other people infected.

Schools across Gainesville are sending flyers home with children for their parents to read. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is focusing its efforts on promoting good hygiene to prevent the virus spreading,

According to the CDC, there is no treatment for the norovirus. The CDC recommends washing hands often and general cleanliness to prevent infection. If ill, the CDC recommends drinking plenty of fluids to replace lost hydration from vomiting and diarrhea.

“A little light at the end of the tunnel is that whatever particular strand that you contracted your body develops an immunity to for about a year,” said Catherine Seemann, spokeswoman for the University of  Florida Student Health Care Center.

 Audreyanna Loguerre wrote this story online. 

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