17/05/17: Norovirus plagues nearly 1,000 people in northern California schools


Norovirus has hit nearly 1,000 people in the northern California county.

Almost 1,000 people in northern California have been infected with norovirus as it rips through multiple school districts.

The Yolo County Health & Human Services Agency announced the virus, which causes fever and diarrhea, was rapidly affecting students, teachers and staff at area schools.

“The number of sick people is increasing every day at a very alarming rate,” the agency said in a press release.

The gastrointestinal illness, for which there’s no treatment, has impacted 32 schools in the county, located northwest of Sacramento.

Norovirus is highly contagious, health officials said. People can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces, coming in close contact with others carrying it and eating infected food.

Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.

Infected patients are most contagious during the first 48 hours, county health officials said.

Some districts were hit harder than others. The Woodland Joint Unified School District was hit hardest with 434 cases, while Davis Joint Unified School District counted 181 infections.

“The message is good hygiene and staying home 48 hours after the symptoms have resolved are crucial,” Yolo County spokeswoman Beth Gabor told the Sacramento Bee. “I think that has been the problem. Kids have been returning to school too soon.”

Several districts only reported a few dozen cases.

The virus started to spread in early May when 33 students and five teachers were hit with the bug, according to the Sacramento Bee.

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