Dover School News Alert: Several children have stomach illness that resembles Noro-like virus


April 30, 2015

Dear Parents and Staff:

This letter is to inform you that several children in our school have stomach illness that resembles Noro-like virus. Symptoms of Noro virus can include any or all of the following nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low-grade fever, dehydration and headache. This illness usually lasts an average of 24 – 72 hours. Noro virus is more commonly known as the 24 hour stomach bug.

We do not have laboratory confirmation that noro virus is making our students ill. A few newly indentified students with symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea may be asked to collect a specimen to assist the health department in confirming the cause of the outbreak.

Young children with symptoms, particularly in daycare and other special care settings should be evaluated by their pediatrician. Diagnosis is made by obtaining a viral stool culture specimen. Persons can spread the virus while they are experiencing symptoms and up to 72 hours after the diarrhea or vomiting stops. Ill children as well as food handlers should not return to school or work for at least 72 hours after diarrhea stops.

Noro viruses are highly contagious and can be spread person to person, by contaminated food or water or through the air when close to someone who is vomiting. Children and other ill persons must observe careful hand washing after going to the bathroom, before eating and common activities such as gym, computer class and arts and crafts. Hand sanitizers are not effective against noro viruses. Ill persons should not prepare, handle or share food with anyone else. Strict hand washing procedures must be observed to prevent the spread of illness.

There is no treatment for Noro virus but IV fluid and electrolyte replacement is advised for severe illness. Hand washing is the most important method of preventing transmission in any setting.

Our school has been in close contact with the Dutchess County Department of Health on this issue. The health department advises that parents consult with their pediatrician if their child develops any of the symptoms described above.

You may contact, the Dutchess County Department of Health Communicable Disease Control Division at (845-486-3402) if you have any questions.

Thank you.

Michael Tierney
Dover Superintendent of Schools

Author: Harlem Valley News