News

Dublin: Norovirus case confirmed at elementary school

Other students miss class, but some could be out for reasons besides sickness

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

School officials have been in touch with parents of students at Dublin Elementary School at 7471 Larkdale Ave. almost every day to provide information to them about the situation at the school.

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

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

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

Friday was the first day that a significant number of students were getting sick and 46 were out Wednesday, but some of those students may have be out for reasons besides sickness.

Seventy students were out of school on Monday and 35 were having symptoms of the stomach flu.

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

School district officials are asking parents of children with symptoms to keep them out of school until their symptoms have been gone for 48 hours.

Children are being encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly and parents to keep their kids from group settings such as birthday parties and soccer games.

People with the virus can spread it easily to others, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus can spread quickly in enclosed places such as cruise ships, nursing homes and schools. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain, CDC officials said.

The virus is serious. Some people get severely dehydrated and some severe cases lead to death. Up to 800 people die each year from the virus and most of the deaths occur among young children and the elderly, according to the CDC.

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.

– Keith Burbank, Bay City News

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