Health department says 200 students have missed school due to Norovirus outbreak

CINCINNATI - A terrible virus known to spread through cruise ships strikes aCincinnati Public School.

The Cincinnati Health Department says the norovirus has hit Mt.Airy School. The district says it's following recommendations fromthe health department.

They've had cleaning crews inside the building to clean anddisinfect all of the surfaces.

Students at Mt. Airy School on Colerain Avenue are getting alesson in good hygiene. They're being told to wash their handsfrequently as the school tries to rid surfaces of thenorovirus.

It's also known as the norwalk-virus, stomach flu, and foodpoisoning.

"That's what we've been working on is being very, very diligentwith training the kids and re-enforcing hand washing, hand washing,hand washing," said School Medical Director for the CincinnatiHealth Department, Dr. Marilyn Crumpton.

Dr. Crumpton says symptoms can last anywhere from 24 to 48 hourson average.

The health department says 200 of the 600 students have missedschool over the past several months with a peak in absences overthe last two weeks ago.

"We have been working with the parents and really with thecustodial staff there to disinfect and encourage parents if theirkids are sick to keep them home until they're recovered as not tospread the virus," said Janet Walsh, spokesperson for CPS.

Experts say the noroviruses spread from person to person,through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminatedsurfaces.

The district says custodians will continue to disinfect areasthat may be contaminated.

"The school has been doing some additional cleaning. We go toareas where we think it's likely the virus may have happened duringthe day in the bathrooms. They set off a special bomb thatdisinfects the area for lots of germs, particularly including thisone," Dr. Crumpton said.

The health department says some parents have asked the schooldistrict to close the school for a few days.

Dr. Crumpton says that is not an option because the noroviruscan stay in your body for 30 days, even after you have recovered.
 

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