PORTLAND, Ore. – The norovirus has likely sickened dozens of students and staffers at Buckman Elementary School in Southeast Portland, according to health officials.
Dr. Amy Sullivan, Manager of Communicable and Disease Services for Multnomah County, said they are investigating and working to confirm a "cluster of cases" at the school.
A number of people came down with nausea and diarrhea, symptoms very similar to the flu, Sullivan said, but she added it does appear the illness is being caused by norovirus. She said a low-grade fever can also be a sign of the virus.
Norovirus is highly contagious and is easily spread if anyone handling food does not wash their hands, Sullivan said.
She said the agency usually sees a few schools get hit by the virus each year.
Sullivan said she encourages parents to keep kids at home if they are showing symptoms. "Hand washing, hand washing, hand washing" is the best way to limit the spread of the virus, she added.
Anyone contracting the virus should drink a lot of water to flush it out of their bodies and offset the dehydrating effects of the virus, especially if the sufferers are very young children and the elderly, Sullivan said.
- More on norovirus from the Centers for Disease Control
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