Norovirus 2016 update: Stomach flu affects Laguna Middle School and cruise ship in Silja Symphony.
Laguna Middle School in San Luis Obispo, California, has cancelled its annual grade eight dance after 80 students fell ill with vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. One teacher was also affected.
After testing, it was confirmed that all those who became sick had norovirus, which was most likely caused by the eighth grade potluck lunch.
Dr. Penny Borenstein from the local health department said, “It looks like probably something at the luncheon, or maybe even someone, might have caused it, though that it just a guess based on the timeline of when everyone became sick. Because school is out, and because there is no long-term risk, I think the idea is that we would just kind of let it go.”
The dance will be rescheduled for the following week to allow the affected students to recover so that they are no longer contagious.
Norovirus outbreaks that that took place in several Lincoln County schools are coming to an end. There were several reported cases of norovirus among children in schools, and the numbers are finally on the downturn. Cases were breaking out at several schools in Lincoln County with children reporting vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
There is no treatment for norovirus, meaning the illness must runs its course, but it is highly contagious. Those who are infected should strongly avoid others to prevent transmission.
Eight people have fallen ill with norovirus on the Silja Symphony cruise ship. Despite cleaning efforts, the illness reappeared. If the enhanced cleaning methods are unsuccessful, then the ship may be pulled out of service.
Marika Nöjd, Tallink Silja Head of Communications, said, “The enhanced cleaning will continue as long as it is needed. Unfortunately, combating norovirus is not easy. It is also important for the passengers to observe hand hygiene. The matter will be reviewed on Thursday during the next departure. Not all summer trips cannot be cancelled or transferred due to norovirus.”
Although the origin of norovirus is unknown, the ship did test positive for it.
The outbreak started with nearly 200 people falling ill.
Norovirus is highly contagious but preventable, as long as proper hygiene and food preparation techniques are followed.