School officials said on Thursday, schools reported an abrupt increase in students reporting symptoms of vomiting.
“At first, it appeared to be at our middle school, but as the day went on, we began to see similar symptoms in other buildings. Our school health professionals immediately notified county and state health professionals, and are working very closely with them through this situation,” Superintendent Dr. Michelle Havenstrite said.
Havenstrite said health officials believe the illnesses are likely due to norovirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists norovirus as a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. People easily contract the virus by having direct contact with infected people, consuming contaminated food or water or touching contaminated surfaces.
CBS News reports the rapid spread of a stomach virus through the Greater Albany School District has forced the closure of all schools in the district for the rest of the week. The closure comes days after a Colorado school district of about 22,000 students was forced to close after a similar viral outbreak tore through its 46 schools.
CBS Portland affiliate KOIN-TV reported the school district in Linn County, Oregon, was trying to contain the spread of the virus, which causes vomiting and diarrhea.
The district disinfected buildings over the weekend, but kept Periwinkle Elementary School closed Monday after consulting with the Linn County Health Department. On Monday evening, the Greater Albany district said on Facebook that after consulting with state and county health officials — and noting a jump in absences in their other schools — that all schools would close and reopen December 2.
Officials said cleaning teams will continue to disinfect and sanitize throughout the closure.
In Colorado, hundreds of students were sickened by symptoms similar to those of norovirus, a highly-contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. After the illness jumped quickly from school to school, officials were forced to take the unusual step of closing all 46.
“When we have 20 kids actively vomiting in a school that already has 17% gone we know that we’ve got a problem. We have to stop the exposure,” said Tanya Marvin, the head of nursing for the school district.
I’m all for legalization of marijuana and may have to move back to Canada because it’s legal for recreational use in the entire country.
Just kidding, I’m spoiled and couldn’t stand the snow; I like going to the ice hockey arena in flip-flops and shorts, like they do in Tampa.
But there are downsides to legalization.
Parents wouldn’t pack their kids’ lunches with whiskey and smokes, so why would a mom send pot-laced gummies in her’ kid’s lunch?
Probably forgot. I hear weed does that.
Jeff Truesdell of People reports an Ohio mom was arrested on child endangerment charges after her 9-year-old son brought marijuana-laced gummy bears from home to his elementary school, prompting alarm after 14 students who ate them became sick.
Cleveland police confirmed the arrest of the 27-year-old woman, whose name is being withheld by PEOPLE due to the nature of the charge against her.
The report of ill children brought officers and EMS workers to Anton Grdina School about 1:45 p.m. Monday. “Some of the students were complaining of upset stomachs but had no other signs of impairment,” a police report states.
“As a precaution today, we called EMS to examine several students to determine whether gummy bears shared with them by other students during lunch may have been marijuana-laced,” the school’s principal, Latosha Glass, said in a statement, reports News 5 Cleveland. “This precaution was taken because the packaging of the candy was not recognizable to us and appeared suspicious.”
The 9-year-old said his mom and aunt had thrown a party at their apartment on Sunday, where he said the gummies were given to him and other children by his aunt, who “had gotten drunk” and “was not in her right mind,” according to the police report.
After the boy was told to go to bed, his mother allegedly put the gummies on a table and told him not to touch them. But another child urged the boy to follow his mother into the kitchen and say he loved her, so the second child could take them, according to the report.
The children carried the gummies in their book bags to school on Monday. A school staff member cleaning up a room later found a zip-lock bag printed with wording that indicated the contents contained drugs. An EMS worker reported recovering the bag still containing three gummy bears and a plastic bottle containing several gummy worms and gummy bears.
Staff members at the school reviewed video footage to identify kids who were present when the gummies allegedly were handed out.
Those taken by EMS workers to a hospital for evaluation included four 5-year-olds, three 6-year-olds, one 8-year-old and the 9-year-old. The parents of five other students declined the EMS transport.
Following a school ski-trip to Austria from 10-18/02/2017, nine of 25 participants of the group from Lower Saxony (Germany) developed gastroenteritis. The students and teachers (17-41 years) shared meals in a hotel. Active case finding revealed further cases among German school groups from North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, staying at the same hotel in February 2017.
We conducted two retrospective cohort studies using self-administered questionnaires on clinical symptoms and food consumption. We defined a case as a trip participant in February 2017, staying at the aforementioned hotel and developing diarrhoea, vomiting or abdominal pain during or within ten days after the trip and/or who had a stool sample tested positive for STEC within four weeks after the trip. During the outbreak investigation, Austrian authorities detected that unlabeled raw cow milk delivered by a dairy farm had been offered at the hotel for breakfast during January and February 2017. Stool samples of participants, samples of milk served in the hotel and fecal samples of various animals kept at the milk-delivering farm were examined by culture and polymerase chain reaction. STEC isolates were typed using Pulsed-field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) and Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS).
All 25 participants from Lower Saxony completed the questionnaire on symptoms and milk consumption; 14 were cases (56%). Thirteen of 20 participants who had consumed cold milk fell ill (risk ratio (RR): 3.25; 95%-confidence interval (CI): 0.55-19.32). Of 159 trip participants from North Rhine-Westphalia, 81 completed the questionnaire (51%), 25 were cases (31%); RR for cold milk was 2.11 (CI: 0.89-5.03). The combined RR for cold milk in both groups was 2.49 (CI: 1.16-5.35). Shiga toxin 1a-gene and eaeA-gene positive STEC O103:H2 were detected in nine of 32 patients’ stool samples and in two of 18 dairy farm cattle. Nine isolates from human stool samples and two isolates from cattle fecal samples yielded the same strain with an almost identical PFGE-pattern and WGS-profile.
Microbiological and epidemiological evidence identified raw cow milk as the vehicle. Results may have been compromised by misclassification of cases due to a recall bias and mild symptoms. As a result of this outbreak investigation, the Austrian authorities enforced Austrian law in the hotel, to provide milk only when pasteurized. We recommend re-emphasizing the risk of raw milk consumption to providers.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O103:H2 outbreak in Germany after school trip to Austria due to raw cow milk, 2017-The important role of international collaboration for outbreak investigations, 29 May 2018
Some teachers at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, southeast of London, are now arming themselves with hand sanitiser amid fears that shaking hands up to 150 times a day may cause them to pick up germs.
Principal Amanda Simpson is standing by her decision, which sees teachers shaking hands with every member of their class before each lesson.
One parent told local news website Kent Live that she was worried about the consequences of the mandatory handshaking.
“It will be interesting to see what happens if there’s an outbreak of Norovirus,” she said.
“I assume it was introduced because the new head wanted to introduce some element of respect – but I wouldn’t think that sort of thing would make any difference.”
Ms Simpson believes that starting every lesson “with a handshake and a smile” makes children feel welcome and appreciated.
She confirmed that hand sanitiser was available throughout the school for anyone worried about the spread of germs.
Spatiotemporal scanning, mathematical and random walk modeling predicted the modes of transmission in the two incidents, which were supported by laboratory results and intervention outcomes.
Simulation results indicated that contaminated water was 14 to 500 fold more infectious than infected individuals. Asymptomatic individuals were not effective transmitters. School closure for up to a week still could not contain the outbreak unless the duration was extended to 10 or more days. The total attack rates (TARs) for waterborne NoV outbreaks reported in China (n = 3, median = 4.37) were significantly (p < 0.05) lower than worldwide (n = 14, median = 41.34). The low TARs are likely due to the high number of the affected population.
We found that school closure alone could not contain Norovirus outbreaks. Overlooked personal hygiene may serve as a hotbed for infectious disease transmission. Our results reveal that evidence-based investigations can facilitate timely interventions of Norovirus transmission.
BioMed Central Public Health
Tianmu Chen, Haogao Gu, Ross Ka-Kit Leung, Ruchun Liu, Qiuping Chen, Ying Wu and Yaman Li
A case-control epidemiological study of the risk of disease and the relative importance of each mode of transmission was carried out. Cases and controls were selected from a systematic sample of students and teachers present at the school on 28 January. Fecal samples were taken from three food handlers and 16 cases. The influence of each factor was studied using the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) and the estimated population attributable risk (ePAR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We interviewed 210 people (42 cases, 168 controls). The proportion of symptoms in these individuals was nausea 78·6%, vomiting 59·5%, diarrhoea 45·2%, and fever 19·0%. The epidemic curve showed transmission for at least 4 days. The risk of disease was associated with exposure to food (aOR 5·8) in 66·1% of cases and vomit (aOR 4·7) in 24·8% of cases. aecal samples from 11 patients and two food handlers were positive for norovirus GII.12 g.
Vomit may co-exist with other modes of transmission in norovirus outbreaks and could explain a large number of cases.
Norovirus gastroenteritis outbreak transmitted by food and vomit in a high school
According to a paper by Huedo and colleagues in Food Pathogens and Disease, a couple of years ago over 40 Italian school kids got sick with salmonellosis linked to ham.
A multischool outbreak of salmonellosis caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Napoli was investigated in the province of Milan from October to November 2014, following an increase in school absenteeism coinciding with two positive cases. Epidemiological studies detected 47 cases in four primary schools: 46 children and 1 adult woman (51.4% males and 48.6% females, median age 8.9). From these, 14 cases (29.8%) were severe and resulted in hospitalization, including 6 children (12.8%) who developed an invasive salmonellosis. The epidemic curve revealed an abnormally long incubation period, peaking 1 week after the first confirmed case. Twenty-five available isolates were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showing an identical pattern. The isolate belongs to ST474, an ST composed exclusively of Salmonella Napoli human strains isolated in France and Italy. Antibiotic resistance analysis showed resistance to aminoglycosides, correlating with the presence of the aminoglycoside resistance gene aadA25 in its genome. Trace-back investigations strongly suggested contaminated ham as the most likely food vehicle, which was delivered by a common food center on 21 October. Nevertheless, this ingredient could not be retrospectively investigated since it was no longer available at the repository. This represents the largest Salmonella Napoli outbreak ever reported in Italy and provides a unique scenario for studying the outcome of salmonellosis caused by this emerging and potentially invasive nontyphoidal serotype.
In the same way that dying cancer patients in the UK are being held responsible for telling their doctors to wash their damn hands, Malaysian schoolchildren are being told they are the critical-controlpoint for school meals.
for parents and teachers to learn and teach students on food safety, especially on how to spot spoiled food that may cause food poisoning. This includes using your senses (sight, smell and taste) to determine whether the food is still good to be eaten.
“We should avoid food that has a slimy appearance, foul smell or tastes stale. These simple steps are easy to practise and must be taught to students.”
Epidemiological investigation showed that food consumption was not linked to this outbreak, and unboiled direct drinking water was identified as the independent risk factor with a relative risk of 1·37 (95% confidence interval 1·03–1·83). Furthermore, examination of common bacterial and viral gastroenteritis pathogens was conducted on different specimens. Norovirus GI.1, GI.2, GI.6, GII.4, GII.6 and GII.13 were detected in clinical specimens and a water sample. GII.4 sequences between clinical specimens and the water sample displayed a close relationship and belonged to GII.4 variant Sydney 2012.
These results indicate that direct drinking water contaminated by norovirus was responsible for this gastroenteritis outbreak. This study enriches our knowledge of waterborne norovirus outbreaks in China, and presents valuable prevention and control practices for policy-makers. In future, strengthened surveillance and supervision of direct drinking-water systems is needed.
A waterborne norovirus gastroenteritis outbreak in a school, eastern China
Epidemiology and Infection, 144, pp 1212-1219
Zhou, H. Zhang, X. Lin, P. Hou, S. Wang, Z. Tao, Z. Bi and A. Xu