Norovirus blamed for Olmsted Falls students’ illness on D.C. field trip

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OLMSTED FALLS-New information on what caused students from Olmsted Falls Middle School to fall ill during a recent class trip to Washington, D.C.

In a news release Friday,  The Cuyahoga County Health Department  said samples submitted to them tested positive for norovirus.

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More than 250 eighth-grade students, 20 staff members, and 22 parent chaperones went to Washington D.C. on a field trip from April 3 to April 5.
Olmsted Falls City Schools said it sent a letter to parents Monday afternoon, asking for permission to conduct the interviews with the students involved.

"We would like to thank the school officials, students, and their parents for promptly providing information earlier in the week to allow for the identification of the cause of the illness,” said Chris Kippes, Director of Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Informatics.

Students at Midview High School  in Lorain, who also were in D.C.  on a school trip during the same time, reported illnesses as well.

About eight students from Midview High School also reported feeling sick after their trip.

Midview Local Schools said its students did not interact with Olmsted Falls students during the trip.  It is not known at this time what caused their illness.

Norovirus, often referred to as “stomach flu,” causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.  It is very contagious and can easily be spread from person to person through stool and/or vomit of infected persons.

This can occur by direct contact with someone who is ill or through food or surfaces that have been contaminated by someone who is ill.

The symptoms usually last 1 to 2 days and most people recover without any problems.  It is important for people with this type of illness to drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration.

Follow these simple steps to reduce the chance of getting or spreading the illness:

  • wash your hands often
  • rinse fruits and vegetables
  • cook shellfish thoroughly
  • stay home when sick and for two days after symptoms stop
  • avoid preparing food for others when sick and for two days after symptoms stop

 

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