Norovirus Spreads From Utah County To Jordan School District

Sep 7, 2018, 3:07 PM

WEST JORDAN, Utah – The highly-contagious norovirus has spread beyond Utah County and into the Jordan School District.

The Jordan School District notified parents of cases at Mountain Shadows and Fox Hollow Elementary Schools.

“Those two schools were cleaned and sanitized from one end to the other with special equipment last night,” said Sandy Riesgraf, Jordan School District Director of Communications. “We went a step further and got on our school buses, and we cleaned and sanitized them. We’re doing all we can and I’m sure we’ll repeat the process at some point again today.”

She added parents to need to help stop the spread of the virus.

“We don’t want parents to panic because it’s a stomach bug,” Riesgraf said. “It usually runs its course in three days, but you just need to keep kids home.”

The latest norovirus outbreak

This is just the latest in a string of norovirus outbreaks, and schools aren’t the only places seeing the bug.

In Ogden, officials worked to quell an outbreak that spread to between 40 and 50 people. Parents in Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain were notified of an outbreak on Wednesday. And officals notified parents Thursday after an Orem student was confirmed to have the virus.

An ounce of prevention

Norovirus causes vomiting and diarrhea and is very contagious, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People can pick up the virus from direct contact with an infected person, by touching contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Hygiene is a major factor in keeping the norovirus from spreading. Officials urged kids and parents to thoroughly wash their hands.

“Sanitation gel is not enough,” said Brian Bennion, Director of the Weber-Morgan Health Department.

Bennion spoke to KSL TV after the Ogden outbreak.

“You need to make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly,” he said. “You can use the gel in addition to. If you’re caring for people that are sick, it’s really important to do that.”

Officials with the Utah Department of Health said norovirus may be extremely contagious, but it is very common. However, they said the timing of this outbreak is odd. Outbreaks usually occur around January and February, and they are looking into the possibility that this outbreak may be a new strain.

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Norovirus Spreads From Utah County To Jordan School District