Increased Norovirus Activity in School Settings

Alameda County and California are experiencing an unusually large proportion of reported gastrointestinal illness outbreaks among students and staff in school settings. This has been attributed to a new strain of
Norovirus that has been circulating in Europe and Asia since last year and is now in the US and CA. Infection spreads quickly in settings where people are in close contact with each other, such as cruise ships, health care facilities, daycare centers, schools and summer camps. The most important steps to prevent the spread of Norovirus in schools are to ensure that:

  1. Ill persons stay home while sick and for another 48 hours after symptoms go away.
  2. Everyone regularly washes hands especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
  3. Contaminated and frequently-touched objects and surfaces are thoroughly and frequently cleaned with an approved disinfectant, as Norovirus can survive for many days on surfaces.

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