Stomach bug outbreak at Pine Middle School

Reported by: Terri Hendry
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Updated: 8/29/2014 9:35 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- Washoe County School District officials say an outbreak of a stomach bug made 91 students at Pine Middle School sick on Friday.

The Washoe County Health District began calling parents of sick students on Thursday to try to determine the cause of the outbreak. "The symptoms are of a gastrointestinal illness," Health District Spokesman Phillip Ulibarri said. "We had an outbreak of norovirus in the school district in 2012 and 2013 so out of the abundance of caution, we're treating this like any serious gastrointestinal outbreak similar to norovirus."

The symptoms can include headache, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Washoe County School officials are working to contain the outbreak. "We're working in tandem with the health department," said Jennifer Crane. "They are the ones who have instructed us on how to clean the schools and everything."

Crane is the Director of Clinical Services with the Washoe County School District. She said the facility maintenance crews have been wiping down and disinfecting common surfaces at the school once the students leave for the day.

There is no treatment for norovirus other than rest and plenty of liquids. Like other viruses, the norovirus must run its course before you begin to feel better in a couple of days.

Ulibarri and Crane are quick to point out frequent hand washing helps prevent the spread of the virus. They also said if you are sick, you should stay home. "We hope by Tuesday, it begins to subside," said Crane. "But if your child is sick or exhibiting any abdominal discomfort or any GI symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, to please keep them home 72 hours after they are symptom free."

Ulibarri echoed that sentiment. "We're asking all students and even faculty and staff, to stay home for 72 hours after their symptoms subside."
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