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Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2013

Florida: Norovirus linked to illnesses at Manatee Bay Elementary in Weston

The illness that sickened some 300 students last week with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea at a Weston, Florida elementary school, has been identified as norovirus, according to a WSVN-TV report yesterday.

Manatee Bay Elementary Image/Video Screen Shot

Manatee Bay Elementary
Image/Video Screen Shot

The virus was discovered at  Manatee Bay Elementary, part of the Broward County School District, where dozens of students were absent from classes Wednesday.

Parents are being advised to frequently wash children’s hands, and to keep sick students home from school.

Frequently associated with outbreaks on cruise shipsNoroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the “stomach flu,” or gastroenteritis in people.

The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.

Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typicallyspread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.

The highly contagious norovirus is the second leading infectious cause of gastroenteritis-associated deaths accounting for 800 annually. Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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