Virus at Gifford Middle School sends students home

Almost 90 students were out sick from Gifford Middle School yesterday as the Indian River County School district is warning parents about the norovirus spreading among students.

Here a link to the letter

This is what it said:

Dear Parent/Guardian,
There has been an increase in illness characterized by vomiting and diarrhea in our
community, including in childcare facilities and schools. The most common cause of these

symptoms is Norovirus, commonly known as the “stomach bug”. Norovirus causes vomiting

and diarrhea 1 to 2 days after infection, and symptoms can last up to 3 days. People are most
contagious while they have symptoms and for several days after they recover.

Norovirus is highly contagious, requiring fewer than 100 virus particles to cause illness.

It is easily spread from person to person by consuming foods or drinks contaminated with an
infected person’s stool or by touching contaminated surfaces and objects.
Norovirus is easily spread from person to person by consuming foods or drinks contaminated with an infected person’s stool or by touching surfaces and objects.
Norovirus can remain on surfaces and still infect people for days to weeks and
is resistant to some disinfectants.

Below are steps you can take to prevent Norovirus from spreading.

The most important way to prevent Norovirus and many other diseases is proper hand
Wash hands with soap and running water after bathroom visits, playtime and before eating and preparing food.
Stay home for at least 24 hours after symptoms stop.
Wash fruits and vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly.
When sick, DO NOT prepare food or care for others.
Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness.
Use chlorine bleach solution with a concentration of 1000-5000 oom (5-25 tablespoons of household bleach per gallon of water)
Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with virus

after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap).

For more information about Norovirus, visit the CDC’s Norovirus website at
or contact the

Indian River County Health Department at 772-794-7472 or

or 772-794-7440.
I just heard reported that this may or may not be norovirus. If it is or isn’t you should still follow the instructions above. Good hand washing is imperative with any of these viruses.
When you wash your hands it should be as long as the Happy Birthday Song. Here is something to help you!

Directions on proper handwashing by the CDC

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