UPDATE: Symptoms "Consistent With Norovirus" At Several Pitt Co. Schools

By: April Davis
By: April Davis

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.

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The Pitt County Health Department has received reports from numerous sources of an increase in gastrointestinal illness in the community. The health department has confirmed a norovirus outbreak in at least one facility in the county and is now investigating reports of similar illness from other facilities.

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.

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  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Jan 29, 2012 at 02:02 PM
    Wash your hands, but AFTER you touch the shopping cart, the public door handles, the ATM pads, use anti-bacterial gel until you get home. When you get home, WASH your hands, have your children wash their hands, BEFORE you remove your groceries. Maybe WITN will post this one.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM
    To parent-there was a call that went out to the entire school from the principal about this on Thursday night. You might want to check to be sure the school has your correct number because you should have received a call.
  • by Parent Location: Greenville on Jan 28, 2012 at 05:07 PM
    My 5 year old son goes to Wahl-Coates and unfortunately he came home earlier in the week sick as can be. I knew he didn't feel well when he wanted to take a nap as soon as he got off the bus! About an hour later the vomiting and diarrhea began. I'm glad he feels better now but I can't believe the school didn't contact the parents to warn them of a possible illness. I found out by watching WITN! Watch out kindergarten parents!
  • by Danny Pratts Location: Kissimmee on Jan 27, 2012 at 08:59 PM
    The best way to prevent the spread of viruses is to wash your hands. Schools need to focus on enforcing hand washing to prevent the spread of viruses. There is a product out there called Handwash Reminder and it does work.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 27, 2012 at 08:47 PM
    I see some people foo-fooing the severity and trying to say it's "just" a stomach flu. Understand that this virus is not only passed person-to-person, it's airborne, waterborne, foodborne, and can survive on fomites and be passed that way as well (inanimate objects). This is nothing to scoff at. Maybe a little fear is a good thing. It's not about media or anyone else wanting to create unwarranted panic. It's about people getting a grip and taking important precautions. EVERYONE SHOULD. I like the person that said it's silly to think work can't get along without you. They sure as heck can - especially if having you means losing everyone else for several days. So act responsibly.
  • by Paula Abdul on Jan 27, 2012 at 05:55 PM
    @I'm not surprised,tell that to every californication!Pop a pill and be done with!
  • by Concerned Parent Location: Greenville on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:43 PM
    Pitt County Schools really needs to take a look at Wahl Coates's sewer situation. Snaking the line is not going to fix the problem everytime. It is ridiculous that they have waste overflowing onto the floors in the bathrooms. This is unsanitary and is probably the reason behind all this sickness. Does anyone besides me realize that when waste is on the floors, it gets on the children's shoes, then is transported throughout the schools and to people's homes? This is ridiculous! The school should be shut down until the issue has been resolved. If not, it is going to be a vicious cycle.
  • by Soap & Water Location: Germs, NC on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM
    Hand Sanitizers don't kill this virus, so make sure to actually wash your hands.
  • by It's time on Jan 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM
    Wahl-Coates has a major sewer problem that needs do be dealt with. No wonder 150 kids are sick. What an outrage. WITN should send reporters out there. The school should be closed until the problem is fixed.
  • by laura Location: greenville on Jan 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM
    Husband wanted to go to the Golden Corral buffet this morning- glad I saw this story before we went. I can't keep that food down when I'm healthy, but catching a GI bug on top of it...that's just insult to injury.

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