Officials: Norovirus Sickened Students And Staff At Local Elementary School

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Test results determined the Norovirus is what caused dozens of people to become ill at a local elementary school.

A total of 174 people were treated for having gastrointestinal illnesses in Union County since May 20th.  Several of those people were students and staff from Shiloh Elementary School.

Cleaning crews disinfected the school over Memorial Day weekend. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT NOROVIRUS (info from the CDC):

Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.

Anyone can be infected with norovirus and get sick. Also, you can have norovirus illness many times in your life. Norovirus illness can be serious, especially for young children and older adults.

Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes 19-21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000-71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States.

The best way to help prevent norovirus is to practice proper hand washing and general cleanliness.

SYMPTOMS (info from the CDC):

Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines or both. This is called acute gastroenteritis.

The most common symptoms:

    diarrhea

    throwing up

    nausea

    stomach pain

Other symptoms:

    fever

    headache

    body aches

If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill and throw up or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.

A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days.

Symptoms of dehydration:

    decrease in urination

    dry mouth and throat

    feeling dizzy when standing up

Children who are dehydrated may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.

TREATMENT (info from the CDC):

There is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus illness. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral (not a bacterial) infection.

If you have norovirus illness, you should drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid lost from throwing up and diarrhea. This will help prevent dehydration.

Sports drinks and other drinks without caffeine or alcohol can help with mild dehydration. But, these drinks may not replace important nutrients and minerals. Oral rehydration fluids that you can get over the counter are most helpful for mild dehydration.

Dehydration can lead to serious problems. Severe dehydration may require hospitalization for treatment with fluids given through your vein (intravenous or IV fluids). If you think you or someone you are caring for is severely dehydrated, call the doctor.