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Arlington Public Schools Report Norovirus Outbreak

A note was sent to parents Wednesday afternoon.

Arlington Public Schools issued a warning to parents Wednesday about a stomach infection passing its way through the school system.

"This virus spreads very quickly and easily and there is no vaccine or medicine for it. Even if your school has not been affected, prevention is essential!" according to the note.

The norovirus causes a stomach infection that leads to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The full note from the school system appears below. The note is signed by Marian Harmon, the school health bureau chief, and Samuel Stebbins, public health physician:

PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL IF:

  • You know or suspect that your child has a fever or is ill. Please delay sending her/him to school and take the time to feel certain that she/he is well enough to participate in school activities.
  • Your child has vomited the night before, or in the morning before going to school.
  • Your child has diarrhea, stomach pain or cramping.
  • Your child complains of generally not feeling well.
  • Your child has any combination of the above symptoms.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

Make sure your child washes their hands frequently and thoroughly before meals or food preparation, after meals, after using the bathroom, and anytime their hands get dirty. Use soap and warm water and scrub for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" TWICE).

IF SYMPTOMS DEVELOP: Please keep your child at home and inform the school. For additional guidance, contact your healthcare provider and provide them with a copy of this letter. Your child will need to remain at home until they are free from symptoms for one entire day (24 hours).

WHAT WE ARE DOING: School Health, which is part of the Public Health Department, is working closely with Arlington Public Schools to identify cases and to prevent the spread of the disease

WARNING: Monitor for signs of dehydration if your child is unable to keep fluids down.

MORE INFORMATION: If you want to read more, information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/faq.htm.

QUESTIONS: If you have questions, please contact the nurse in your child's school clinic or visit the School Health Bureau's website at www.apsva.us/schoolhealth.

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