High number of illnesses at Rieke Elementary prompts Norovirus warning

PORTLAND, Ore. – Rieke Elementary School has sent home a letter to parents warning that some students may have come down with Norovirus, according to Portland Public Schools.

District spokesman Larry Bingham said there have been no confirmed cases of the virus at the Southwest Portland school but 40 children called in sick Thursday. And he said in addition to the 40 from Thursday, another 20 children called in sick Friday. The school also sent 10 children home.

Bingham said that the school notified Multnomah County on Thursday of the illnesses. Also on Thursday, custodians started cleaning and disinfecting the school. They cleaned the school Friday as well and will continue to do so Saturday.

Norovirus causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Some people come down with a fever, experience chills, headache, muscle ache and general tiredness. Most people get better in one to two days.

The county health department recommends that people who think they may be sick with the virus should get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and wash their hands often. If their symptoms don’t improve in three days, they have bloody diarrhea or a high fever, they should call their doctor.