Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Cascade Locks School received a thorough cleaning overnight on Monday after rampant absenteeism due to an unidentified virus.
As much as half the student body missed school Friday and Monday, so the district sent in a team to sanitize all surfaces before students returned to school Tuesday.
Concerns over sanitary precautions apply to all schools, however, noted Tracy Willett, health officer with the county health department.
Willett said “The exact source of illness is unknown, but probably was from infectious persons,” and not food-borne sources.
“What we suspect is a possible norovirus outbreak, a common cause of viral gastroenteritis,” Willette said.
Noroviruses (genus Norovirus, family Caliciviridae) are the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) in the United States, as well as the most common recognized cause of outbreaks.
“We’re looking into it to see if there is anything there; going in and swabbing surfaces and make sure that is not the case; with a thorough cleaning tonight,” Supt. Charlie Beck said, adding that tests won’t come back for four or five days “but instead of waiting for that we’re going to be proactive, and everything is going to be washed down following health department guidelines.”
Willett said her department is asking providers throughout the county to be on the lookout for similar illness cases, and test for viruses and report the instances to the county.
At Cascade Locks, a team did “extensive disinfection” of the cafeteria, kitchen, bathrooms and classrooms, with a particular emphasis on tabletops and computer keyboards.
Janitorial staffs have been advised about appropriate use of cleaning products to kill norovirus (e.g., 1:10 bleach solution) and other viral/bacterial causes of acute vomiting/diarrhea.
Cafeteria sanitation and food-handling practices are under review, Willett said.
She emphasized that parents should wait until 72 hours after the last episode of diarrhea or vomiting before sending children back to school.
People with proven or suspected norovirus infection, or those caring for people or children (e.g., changing diapers) with proven or suspected norovirus infection, should be pay careful attention to excellent hand hygiene practices.
More like this story
- White Salmon Valley PTO holds 25th annual silent auction April 28
- CarFit Technician training held April 30
- Raices annual plant sale May 13
- Letters to the Editor for April 22
- Church News: Carina Miller at Riverside, Nazarene Blossom Bazaar
- Scholarship Benefit Saturday
- HAHRC Beats: Enjoy food more while eating less
- Area Agency on Aging seeks to redefine volunteering during National Volunteer Week, April 23-29
- Día de los Niños celebration April 28
- Drug Take Back Day April 29 at Skyline
I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"
‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge