Norovirus outbreak closes Oregon school; more than 100 students, staff sickened – Fox News

An elementary school in Seattle, Wash., is closed Friday due to an outbreak of the highly contagious norovirus.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Seattle Public Schools announced that Leschi Elementary School is closed Dec. 13 due to the outbreak that has sickened more than 100 students and staff, K5News reports. Most of those affected called out on Thursday.

OREGON SCHOOL CLOSES AFTER ‘FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS’ SICKEN NEARLY HALF OF STAFF 

The school will be cleaned and sanitized while students and staff are away. As of now, officials said Leschi Elementary School will reopen on Monday.

Norovirus is a gastrointestinal illness that’s sometimes called the “winter vomiting bug.” It typically causes nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, and spreads easily.

A common way the virus is transmitted is through close contact with an infected person. This is either directly or indirectly, such as sharing a bathroom, a dorm room or another communal space. Cruise ships, schools, and nursing homes “are the most commonly reported settings for norovirus outbreaks,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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“It only takes a few virus particles to make people sick,” Lee-Ann Jaykus, the scientific director for NoroCORE, a food safety initiative that’s funded through a $25 million grant from the USDA,  previously told Fox News.

The news comes after an Oregon school closed this week due to illness. Oak Grove Academy in Gales Creek was closed on Wednesday and Thursday after nearly half of the staff at the school called out with “flu-like symptoms.”

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