LINCOLN, Neb. – A possible outbreak of norovirus at a primary school in Lincoln forced a significant number of students to miss class on Friday.
At least 141 students were absent from school at the end of the day. That's 27 percent of the school's listed students with 520 children. It is important to note that this is the absence number, not the total number of sick children.
Tim Timmons, coordinator of the Communicable Disease Program in the Health Department of Lincoln-Lancaster County, said until the tests return, it is not known exactly what the disease is. However, Timmons said the symptoms closely mimic the norovirus.
Norovirus is an acute viral bowel disease that usually takes 24 to 48 hours, Timmons said.
The virus is highly contagious.
Here is a copy of the letter sent home to the families of West Lincoln Elementary:
Dear Families and Employees of West Lincoln:
I would like to inform you of something What's happening in West Lincoln Basic week and provide some helpful information.
There are currently a large number of students and staff in West Lincoln who are out of school and have symptoms related to Norovirus, a very contagious disease:
· direct contact with one have infected person
· consume contaminated food or water
· touch contaminated surfaces and put your hands in your mouth.
Norovirus causes the following symptoms: [1
· Abdominal pain
If your child is suffering from or is currently experiencing norovirus symptoms, please keep it for 24 hours vomiting or diarrhea is over. If any of these symptoms become serious, contact your doctor and tell your doctor about possible exposure to norovirus.
At West Lincoln, we do everything we can to protect our children and keep our areas clean. Additional staff will be over the weekend in West Lincoln.
We also work closely with the Health Department of Lincoln Lancaster County. We have attached a leaflet on Norovirus. If you have any questions about this condition, contact the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department at 402-441-8053.