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Matthews School Virus Was Norovirus

The North Carolina State Laboratory in Raleigh confirmed that the laboratory sample taken at Matthews Elementary School last week was Norovirus. Epidemiologists with the Mecklenburg County Health Department say that this is likely the cause of the outbreak at the school last week.

 

Charlotte, NC - (May 13, 2005) Mecklenburg County Health Department communicable disease nurses received word today that the laboratory sample taken at Matthews Elementary School last week was confirmed to be Norovirus by the North Carolina State Laboratory in Raleigh.

Health officials were only able to obtain and test one sample from one student at the school. Although only one sample was taken, epidemiologists with the Health Department say that this is likely the cause of the outbreak at the school last week.

The Health Department is continuing to monitor the situation at Matthews Elementary School and in other schools around the county.  There have been other confirmed cases of Norovirus in some counties across North Carolina this spring.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, illness related to Norovirus often begins suddenly and the infected person may feel very sick. The illness is usually brief, with symptoms lasting only about one or two days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults. Most people with Norovirus illness have both of these symptoms.

Symptoms of the Norovirus may include:

    • Abdominal pain
    • Vomiting
    • Nausea
    • In some cases fever and diarrhea

The primary way that viruses are spread is from hand to mouth.  Therefore washing hands frequently, especially in school settings, is vitally important to prevent the virus from spreading.

For more information about the Mecklenburg County Health Department, visit the Web site www.meckhealth.org.




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