Norovirus Outbreak Hits Meadowbrook Farms

by | Feb 14, 2024

The school charted 64 cases in the past seven days

Editor’s note: After this story originally posted Feb. 14, EG News learned Frenchtown, Eldredge and Hanaford elementary schools have been hit with high incidence of norovirus. 

Meadowbrook Farms Elementary School is experiencing an outbreak of norovirus, a stomach bug that causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to school officials. Between Feb. 7 and Feb. 14, the Pre-K through Grade 2 school had 64 confirmed cases.  The number could be higher since not every parent offers a reason for an absence.

For the remainder of this week, all activities involving volunteers and visitors are cancelled. Special programs are being postponed until after the February break, which takes place next week.

Principal Dom Giusti asked parents to keep their child home from school and all social and extracurricular activities until the symptoms have passed and said students may return to school 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea.

According to Giusti, the school nurse has been working with R.I. Dept. of Health officials to prevent more illness. Symptoms are similar with other stomach viruses and they pass within a day or two. Generally, stomach viruses are spread through contact with an ill person or through contact with a contaminated surface then touching your mouth or food.

“Our custodial staff has been doing extra cleaning of restrooms, desks, doorknobs and other frequently touched surfaces to help keep the virus from spreading,” said Giusti. “In addition, extra cleaning will take place on all buses as well.”

He offered some steps to take to prevent the virus from spreading: 

  • Let the school nurse know immediately if your child has these symptoms. 
  • Always use soap and warm water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after going to the bathroom, changing a diaper, or cleaning up after an ill child. 
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces with a bleach and water solution or an EPA-registered disinfectant that is effective against norovirus. 
  • Laundry and bedding soiled by vomit and diarrhea should be washed and dried at the hottest possible settings allowed for those fabrics. 
  • Any household member with similar symptoms who works at a restaurant, childcare center, or healthcare facility must stay home from work until at least two days after vomiting and diarrhea have stopped.

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