Norovirus may be circulating at a CMS school in uptown Charlotte.
Students and teachers exhibited symptoms suggestive of norovirus at Metro School on South Davidson Street, says Stephen R. Keener, medical director at the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
Keener says the department was notified after several students and staff displayed symptoms including nausea and vomiting. The health department sent a letter to parents Wednesday to notify them of the potential illness.
“You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up. Some people may also have fever, headaches and body aches. You are most contagious when you are sick with norovirus illness, and during the first 3 days after you recover from norovirus illness,” Keener says in the letter.
Norovirus can spread quickly in closed places like day cares and schools, and usually makes its way around between November and April.
Anyone with the illness is advised to drink plenty of liquids to replace lost fluid and prevent dehydration.
“Wash your hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers and always before eating, preparing, or handling food. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may not be effective against norovirus,” Keener advises.
The Health Department says people believed to have norovirus should stay out of work or school until 48 hours after symptoms have resolved.
There is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus. The illness cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral, not a bacterial, infection, Keener says.