Over 300 ill with noro at UK school

Sick kids can spread gastrointestinal viruses around pretty quickly. I write from experience, my kids have brought home what was likely norovirus a couple of times from school/preschool and spread it to Dani and I.

10849902_719581291471357_3442145704847569295_n1-300x3001-300x300Once the perfect human pathogen is in a restaurant, grocery store, or cruise ship – or school – it’s tough to get it out without some illnesses.

According to the Courier, a school in the UK, Langlands Primary, has over 300 kids ill as the virus runs through the population

A council spokeswoman previously said: “Parents and carers are advised to keep unwell children at home until they are clear of the virus for 48 hours … The school remains open and senior staff will be teaching affected classes.”

The spokesman added: “The school is working with the local environmental health service to investigate the cause of this illness. We have arranged for additional cleaning to be carried out to reduce the risk of any further infection.”

Parents told The Courier they felt the school should have been shut to contain the outbreak.

Nada Wilson-Bruce said: “My son has it… really wish they would shut the school. He has been very poorly since the early hours of this morning and has been vomiting blood (he has had medical attention).

“Both of my children will stay off until I am convinced the outbreak has diminished.”

Jennifer Clark Mitchell added: “My son isn’t displaying any symptoms, but given the large outbreak he won’t be back until after Christmas.

“The school needs to be properly deep cleaned with strong disinfectant and remain closed for a couple of days to ensure all bugs have died.”

Part of the problem with noro (beyond the low mean infectious dose; environmental stability; and, 10^9 virus particles per gram of vomit/poop) is a vomit event can lead to particles floating through the air. And maybe moving 30 feet from the barf splatter.

 

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is an associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.