September 8, 2018
Dear Parents or Guardians:
Recently, in the news, there have been reports of Norovirus outbreaks in our state – we’ve even had a report of a small outbreak in one of our schools. As of right now, there have been no confirmed cases of Norovirus in any school in Weber District. We have been in direct contact with the Weber Morgan Health Department to obtain this confirmation.
The remaining portion of this letter is for those who want additional information about Norovirus, in general. We encourage you to read on!
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus, sometimes referred to as the "winter vomiting bug," is the most common cause of gastroenteritis, a viral infection characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, fever, headache, and body aches. Norovirus illness is NOT related to the flu, which is caused by the influenza virus.
How Norovirus is Transmitted:
Norovirus spreads easily! A person usually develops symptoms 12-48 hours after being exposed to Norovirus, and most people will get better within 1-3 days. Norovirus is very contagious and can be contracted from:
- Having direct contact with an infected person;
- Consuming contaminated food or water; and/or
- Touching contaminated surfaces then putting unwashed hands into the mouth.
How to Prevent the Spread of Norovirus:
To protect yourself and others from Norovirus:
- Wash your hands often (especially after using the toilet or changing diapers; always before eating, preparing, or handling food; and before giving yourself or others medicine);
- Rinse fruits and vegetables;
- Cook shellfish thoroughly;
- Stay home when sick and for two days after symptoms stop;
- Avoid preparing food for others when sick and for two days after symptoms stop;
- Clean and disinfect surfaces, wearing rubber or disposable gloves, and by wiping the entire area with paper towels. Follow with disinfecting the area using a bleach-based household cleaner as directed on the product label. The cleaner should be left on the affected area for at least 5 minutes, then the surface cleaned again with soap and hot water. Cleaning soiled laundry, taking out the trash, and washing your hands after cleaning are very important final steps!
- Wash laundry thoroughly, handling soiled laundry wearing rubber or disposable gloves. Wash items with detergent and hot water at the maximum available cycle length then machine dry at the highest heat setting.
How to Treat Norovirus:
Norovirus causes flu-like symptoms. If you or your child contracts this virus, follow these guidelines:
- Prevent dehydration. Drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid lost from vomiting and diarrhea. This will help prevent dehydration. Sports drinks and other drinks without caffeine can help with mild dehydration. Dehydration can lead to serious health issues. Severe dehydration may require hospitalization for treatment.
- Watch for signs of dehydration in children:
- Child may cry with few or no tears; and/or
- Child may act unusually sleepy or fussy.
- Contact your doctor with concerns.
To learn more about this very contagious virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus.
For further questions about the Norovirus, please contact the Weber-Morgan Health Department: http://www.webermorganhealth.org/
We hope your child has enjoyed his or her first few days of school! We thank you for sharing your child with us!
Weber School District Superintendency, Student Services Team and Nurses