Officials Confirm Case Of Norovirus In Orem

Sep 6, 2018, 7:00 PM | Updated: 9:26 pm

OREM, Utah – Hundreds of students stayed home from school as Utah County grappled to contain an outbreak of the norovirus that has now affected schools in three cities.

Officials with the Utah County Health Department said an elementary school student from Orem was tested at a doctor’s office Thursday and confirmed to have norovirus. Parents at Sharon Elementary School were notified of the confirmed case Thursday evening with a letter from the health department.

Previously, the outbreak was thought to be contained to Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain. Six schools in those cities reported an average absenteeism rate of around 10 percent on Thursday – double what’s normal, according to the Alpine School District.

District officials said there were also reports from several schools of children becoming ill during the school day and vomiting.

“You can be exposed to this within 100 feet of somebody who vomits, so it is pretty serious,” said Kimberly Bird, assistant to the superintendent of the Alpine School District.

The health department and school district have asked parents to keep students home as a precaution if they were nauseated or showing other early indications they are coming down with a gastrointestinal illness.

“Even if they just have an upset stomach, please keep them home while they are feeling ill, as it is possible that they may vomit while at school,” said a letter from the health department sent Thursday to parents in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain.

The letter also asked that students not return to school until 72 hours after vomiting and diarrhea ends.

In order to get more accurate data on the number of illnesses, the school district asked parents to volunteer why their student was absent with the following choices:

  • My child is experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms
  • My child is not experiencing these symptoms, but I am keeping them home as a precaution.
  • My child is absent for other reasons (vacation, family event, other illness, etc.)

“That’s why we are trying to find out—of our 10 percent absenteeism—which of our absences really have the symptoms of vomiting, nausea and diarrhea,” Bird said. “We need you to report accurately on the reason why your child is being kept from home.”

In addition to being highly contagious, norovirus has a short incubation period with some people becoming ill in as little as 10 hours after being exposed, the health department said. Most display symptoms within three days.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment available for norovirus—other than to drink clear fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. Most people recover quickly and it’s rare to develop a more serious illness, the department said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


There are five kinds of rattlesnakes that populate Utah (DWR)...
Shara Park and Larry D. Curtis, KSL TV

Utahns experiencing close encounters of the rattlesnake kind

As you make plans to head to the great outdoors this holiday weekend, you may want to heed the warning about rattlesnakes.
1 day ago
Bats are the leading cause of rabies deaths in people in the United States. Rabid bats have been fo...
Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

State confirms rabies found in three Utah bats

The state of Utah confirmed on Thursday three cases of rabies so far this summer. The cases were found in bats in Salt Lake County, Weber County, and Washington County.
1 day ago
LGBTQ teens at an Encircle activity....
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Parents’ support key to mental health among LGBTQ+ youth, experts say

Nearly 20 percent of adults in the U.S. live with a mental health condition. In the LGBTQ+ community, that number is three times higher. Experts say family support is crucial to an adolescents’ mental health.
2 days ago
The American Heart Association added sleep duration to its cardiovascular health checklist. It's a ...
Megan Marples, CNN

Sleep duration matters for heart health, according to new recommendations

If you needed another reason to get enough sleep, here it is: It may help your heart health.
2 days ago
FILE: A woman with an  iPhone...
BARBARA ORTUTAY AP Technology Writer

EXPLAINER: Data privacy concerns emerge after Roe decision

With abortion now or soon to be illegal in over a dozen states and severely restricted in many more, Big Tech companies that collect personal details of their users are facing new calls to limit that tracking and surveillance.
2 days ago
The Biden Administration is expected to detail plans to roll out more monkeypox vaccines across the...
Brenda Goodman, CNN

US to offer monkeypox vaccines in states with high case rates

The Biden Administration announced plans to beef up its response to monkeypox on Tuesday, detailing plans to offer more vaccines and more tests to people who are most at risk of getting it — including men who have sex with men and their partners.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Officials Confirm Case Of Norovirus In Orem