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Infection Control

Suspected norovirus nearly empties school

May 06, 2011
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MITCHELL, SD — State medical officials are suspecting a norovirus is responsible for sickening one-third of the student body at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary School, according to the Daily Republic.

Although the exact cause of the gastrointestinal illness causing vomiting, diarrhea and nausea in students is yet unknown, cleaning crews diligently disinfected high-touch surfaces throughout the school on Thursday, the story stated.

Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary School remains closed today in an effort to curb the spread of the highly contagious virus and to allow custodians unhindered access to surfaces requiring cleaning and disinfecting, the story noted.

According to the story, rumors circled that ineffective cleaning by the custodial staff was to blame for the outbreak; the cleaning issue was quickly discounted, however.

Mitchell Superintendent of Schools Joe Graves said: "In the meanwhile, [the state health department] has told us to scour the building using cleaning supplies known to kill viruses."

Administrators are hopeful the suspected norovius will not spread to other schools, the story added.

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