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Infection Control

More than a third of students fall victim to norovirus

January 31, 2012
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ST. AGATHA, ME — Attendance at Wisdom Middle-High School is slowly getting back to normal after a stomach bug ran rampant through students and staff, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The illness hit the school just as the state epidemiologist released a statement detailing the suspected cause of widespread illness throughout the state, the article stated.

According to the article, out of 150 students at the middle-high school, 36 (24 percent) were absent last Thursday and 53 (35 percent) were absent on Friday, while three of the 21 staff members, or 14 percent, were absent January 26, and six, or nearly 30 percent, were out the next day.

"It just came out of the blue," said Fern Desjardins, superintendent of Maine School Administrative District (MSAD 33).

"Whenever more than 15 percent of students are ill, we have to call the state Department of Education. The Maine Center for Disease Control (MeCDC) helped us and said they suspect a norovirus is responsible," Desjardins added.

District officials are keeping an eye on pupils at the Dr. Levesque Elementary School because a number of students have siblings who attend the middle-high school, the article noted.

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