Officials at Pitt County Schools say they are working with the Pitt County Health Department after several schools have reported students sick with symptoms consistent with norovirus.
School officials say the health department does not plan to do any testing to confirm whether this is the same norovirus strain. Nurses in the school system have been in contact with the Pitt County Health Department.
Norovirus has been tested for and confirmed at a living facility in Pitt County.
Several schools have reported a spike in absences this week, officials said, but it's not possible to tell if all of those students were out of school because of the "stomach flu."
School officials say the custodians are continuing to clean the schools in the same way they've been trained to do. Officials are encouraging people to wash their hands, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
The facilities have not been named by officials at this time.
Norovirus is usually a mild illness that begins suddenly and causes symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and sometimes low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness.
It spreads quickly in the community, but especially in crowded places such as long-term care facilities, schools, and childcare centers. There is no vaccine or treatment for norovirus. The best way to prevent illness is to practice proper hand-washing, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, before eating and preparing food, and when caring for a sick person.
Anyone with norovirus-like symptoms should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and remain at home until all symptoms are gone to prevent infecting others.
Please contact your doctor or seek treatment if your symptoms are severe or last more than a few days.