Possible norovirus outbreak sickens students and staff at elementary school in Cary

The Wake County Human Services Department is investigating a possible norovirus outbreak that’s causing many students and staff to be absent from Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary.

In a message Thursday to parents, principal Tim Chadwick said that the school had more students and staff out sick than normal, complaining of an upset stomach and nausea. He said the school followed state health protocol and notified Wake Human Services about the illnesses and is working with them on their investigation.

Health officials are working to determine if the stomach illness is norovirus.

“In the meantime, health officials recommend that children sick with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or a fever should remain out of school for 48 hours after their symptoms end,” Chadwick said in the message. “Please keep your children home if they are experiencing any symptoms.

“We also encourage everyone to protect themselves from germs by washing their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water. Know that we will continue to take every measure to ensure the health and safety of our students.”

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. The Centers For Disease Control says norovirus outbreaks are common because the virus spreads very easily and quickly from infected people to others, and through contaminated foods and surfaces.

In a followup message on Friday, Chadwick told families that Weatherstone is “thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the school per public health guidelines.” He said the school is taking other steps such as having students eat in their classroom instead of the cafeteria and canceling specials classes so that students spend more time outside in the fresh air.

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