John Adams Elementary closed Friday after stomach virus outbreak

By Erich Wagner (File photo)

School officials are closing John Adams Elementary School Friday after more than 200 students and more than 30 staff contracted norovirus between Wednesday and Thursday.

Norovirus is a highly contagious but nonfatal stomach illness that produces symptoms like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Although there is no treatment available for the virus, it typically afflicts victims for about two days.

Kelly Alexander, spokeswoman for Alexandria City Public Schools, said a couple of students likely came to school with the virus, but before displaying symptoms. Since realizing the extent of the outbreak, the school system has been working with the city health department to inform parents and begin work to disinfect the school.

“They’ll use a disinfectant that kills that type of virus, and just wash and wipe down everything in the school,” she said. “They’ll be doing that all weekend.”

Weekend activities at the school of more than 900 students are also cancelled. School is slated to resume Monday.

Officials recommended that parents keep a close eye on their child and make sure that they wash their hands frequently and thoroughly. If a student develops symptoms of the virus, officials said parents should ensure their children stay hydrated and keep them at home until at least 24 hours after symptoms subside.

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(1) Reader Comment

  1. The CDC CANNOT come up with a vaccine for this evil bug fast enough! I’m sure I speak for many parents when I say that I fear the norovirus far more than the common cold-at least a cold lets you keep your dignity about you, to say nothing of your dinner! Norovirus knocks you on your butt, and I swear we grownups get it worse than our kids do. They get the 24-hour virus, I’m flat on my back for three days. They get the 48-hour version…well, I might as well write off a week. Don’t even get me started on the endless barf cleanup (and barf happens to be my Kryptonite!).

    Oh, and nonfatal, my butt! Norovirus kills hundreds of people a year due to the dehydration caused by having it coming out of both ends and being unable to rehydrate due to the nonstop puking. And since it spreads like wildfire, it’s definitely something to fear!

    Norovirus is EVIL.

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