San Juan Unified School District works closely with Sacramento County's Health and Human Services Department to monitor for gastrointestinal illness outbreaks in the region, including possible cases of norovirus. Here are some important things families and students should know:
- If a student is ill and experiences a fever, vomiting or diarrhea they should stay home until they are symptom free for 48 hours.
- When clearing an absence, families will be asked if their student was ill and experienced fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Please be sure to report this information.
- If a doctor makes an official diagnosis of illness please share that when reporting an absence.
- Students and staff are asked to wash their hands frequently using warm water and soap. Hands should be scrubbed for at least 20 seconds before being rinsed and air dried or wiped with a clean towel.
- A specialized cleaner that neutralizes the norovirus and other similar viruses has been made available to school custodial staff for use if a student or staff member experiences symptoms while at school.
- Health Services staff monitor student absence rates and may contact families for additional information if a suspected case is reported.
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This leads to diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. Norovirus illness is often called by other names such as food poisoning and stomach flu. It is not related to the flu which is a respiratory illness even though they share many of the same symptoms.
Anyone can get norovirus illness
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the U.S.
There are many types of norovirus and you can get it more than once.
Norovirus illness can be serious
Norovirus illness can make you feel extremely sick with diarrhea and vomiting many times a day.
Some people may get severely dehydrated, especially young children, the elderly, and people with other illnesses.
Norovirus spreads very easily and quickly
It only takes a very small amount of norovirus particles (fewer than 100) to make you sick.
People with norovirus illness shed billions of virus particles in their stool and vomit and can easily infect others.
- You are contagious from the moment you begin feeling sick and for the first few days after you recover.
- Norovirus can spread quickly in enclosed places like daycare centers, nursing homes, schools, and cruise ships.
- Norovirus can stay on objects and surfaces and still infect people for days or weeks.
- Norovirus can survive some disinfectants, making it hard to get rid of.