Richardson High School Illness Believed to be Norovirus
Richardson High School Illness Believed to be Norovirus

Richardson High School Illness Believed to be Norovirus

Richardson High School officials believe they now know what’s making hundreds of students and staff sick. In a February 4 letter to parents, principal Charles Bruner said that preliminary lab results indicate the norovirus may be present in the school.

Norovirus is an acute, highly contagious gastrointestinal infection. Symptoms include stomach ache, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year Norovirus causes about 20 million illnesses, contributes to more than 65,000 hospitalizations and is responsible for up to 800 deaths

“I had a couple of friends who actually stayed home who got it last night, so it’s still getting around,” said RHS Senior Hayden Harrison.

Students have tweeted photos with surgical masks and bottles of Lysol using #RHSPlauge. RISD spokesman Tim Clark said a couple of students did vomit in the hallway.

The high school underwent extensive cleaning over the weekend and will continue to be cleaned daily with anti-viral solutions. Areas cleaned six to seven times per day, according to school officials, include bathrooms, door handles and drinking fountains.

Officials also encouraged students to sanitize or wash their hands frequently and to stay home if they have symptoms.

“I went home and had a headache, then you start throwing up and it lasts three or four days,” said RHS Senior Calvin Herbst. “I didn’t come back to school until today and I feel a lot better. But, I know a lot of my friends are still out. It’s nasty.”

The highly contagious norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastrointestinal illness in the United States. Symptoms include stomach aches, nausea, diarrhea and/or vomiting. Health officials said the virus usually resolves on its own within 1-3 days.

Norovirus has been in the news recently because of outbreaks on cruise ships.


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