Parents/Guardians Urged to Watch for Signs and Symptoms of Norovirus

Updated December 12, 2019

A significant number of students at Lincoln and some students at Garfield and Linus Pauling have been absent from school over the last few days due to illness with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. The Benton County Health Department has advised district leaders that the illness is presumptive Norovirus. This illness is highly contagious. Anyone with symptoms should be kept home for 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting and diarrhea to prevent the spread of this illness. All families were sent this information via email on Thursday, December 12.

Good handwashing is an important practice to stay healthy. School district custodial staff will continue to provide thorough cleaning at all schools and additional cleaning will take place in those schools with a higher percentage of students with these symptoms. Our district uses a non-bleach cleaning solution that is effective in killing Norovirus. Touchpoints and surfaces are key areas of focus.

Norovirus symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, low-grade fever, abdominal cramps, malaise, and chills. There is no specific treatment for norovirus infection. Because many patients have both vomiting and diarrhea, precautions should be taken to avoid dehydration, especially in the very young and very old.

At home, it is important to know that anything that has been in contact with vomit and diarrhea should be discarded or cleaned up right away with a solution of  ¾-cup bleach mixed with 1 gallon water. Hand sanitizer and regular soap are not effective cleansers. Soiled clothes and towels should be washed immediately in hot water.

Norovirus is a very common illness that is seen in children, especially at this time of the year. It is important for everyone to follow good handwashing practices and to stay home if you have signs and symptoms of the illness.

If you have any questions, concerns, or need help, please contact your health care provider or the Corvallis School District Nurses at 541-757-4421.