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Infection Control

Hundreds of children sick in expected norovirus outbreak

February 17, 2010
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PALM COAST, FL — Health officials are scrambling to determine the source of an outbreak that has left more than 300 people — most of them children — with symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the News-Journal.

According to the story, officials from the Flagler County Health Department suspect Rymfire Elementary School to be the source of the outbreak after interviewing 188 infected people and testing water and surfaces for bacteria.

Patrick Johnson, health department administrator, said: "If it were water-borne, it would be far more people. If it were food-borne, we would have a common source by now. We''re racking our brains over this."
While officials await results of more tests from the elementary school, they are working to prevent additional spread of the disease by disinfecting all schools in Flagler County with industrial-strength cleaners, the story stated.
Katrina Townsend, director of student services, said of the cleaner: "It is hand-applied by individuals using gloves. It will kill everything."
Epidemiologists from Jacksonville, Florida, are assisting with the analysis of the outbreak, the story added.
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