East Marion Elementary School Infectious Disease Outbreak Diagnosed As Norovirus
Stephanie Denardo / WUFT News
More than 200 students were out sick on Friday at East Marion Elementary School. The cause of the sickness was found to be norovirus, also known as food poisoning.
The cause of the infectious disease outbreak on Friday at East Marion Elementary School has been diagnosed as norovirus. Norovirus, also known as food poisoning, is a highly contagious illness that can be caused by consuming contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces.
The virus caused more than 200 students and faculty members at the elementary school to be sick with symptoms of vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea.
“In order to diagnose norovirus, we need to have test results from a lab. The illness outbreak has been ongoing at East Marion Elementary for a few days, but we finally were able to get someone to submit a test,” said Craig Ackerman, spokesman for Florida Department of Health in Marion County. “So we can confirm that it is indeed norovirus.”
“The most important thing is to stop the spread of the outbreak. … We’re going to need a community effort. We need to work together to keep kids and staff home until long after the symptoms have stopped,” he said.
Although symptoms may stop after one to two days without treatment, Ackerman said those infected should stay home for at least 24 hours after symptoms have stopped.
Staying hydrated and temporarily isolating those who are sick are keys to the school-wide recovery.
“Tell parents that health officials are saying just keep (students) home,” he said. “It’s not worth giving it to somebody else and reinfecting the school.” Ackerman said.
More Stories in Health and Science
Marion County is one of 67 counties offering free Hands-On CPR training through the Florida Department of Health for World Heart Day. Partnering with the American Heart Association, the goal is to raise awareness of heart disease and shed light on how CPR can double or even triple the survival rate of a victim.
Steve Parnell, the owner of the Peanut Corporation of America was sentenced to 28 years in prison due to a salmonella outbreak. The outbreak was due to the company not following food sanitation rules, said Keith Schneider, a professor in UF’s College of Food Science and Human Nutrition.
Hand sanitizer is supposed to stop people from getting sick from the flu, but small children are becoming sick from drinking the stuff, which smells good and comes in bright colors that appeal to them.
A new comprehensive guide published by TransAction Florida seeks to connect members of the transgender community with qualified doctors and other health care providers and resources.
The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners met to discuss how to improve recycling programs. Although Alachua is one of top five counties, it still has a long way to go to boosts its recycling percentages.