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Possible norovirus incident at Wilson Elementary Friday with nearly 1 in 10 students out sick

UPDATED: Fri., May 12, 2017, 4:56 p.m.

Spokane Public School's Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, July 27, 2015. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Public School's Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, July 27, 2015. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

A high incidence of stomach virus-like symptoms raised the high possibility of a norovirus outbreak at Wilson Elementary Friday, prompting officials to schedule a disinfection of the premises over the weekend.

Nearly 30 students – about 10 percent of the school’s student population – were home with a stomach virus Friday, said school district spokesman Kevin Morrison. When such a widespread incidence occurs, the school is required to notify health officials, he said.

Spokane district health spokeswoman Kim Papich said that a district epidemiologist, working with a school nurse, had gathered enough evidence to be “fairly confident” that the current outbreak is norovirus.

Luckily, the timing of the outbreak – a day before the weekend – will allow to the school to thoroughly disinfect the site before students return Monday, she said.

No other schools have reported unusually high instances of similar symptoms, said Morrison.

Noroviruses, also known as the “winter vomiting bug,” tend to be highly contagious and spread quickly among populations in close proximity. Their symptoms typically include vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.



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