Wash your hands! Norovirus outbreak suspected at UC Davis and Yolo County schools

Yolo County health authorities are investigating whether reports of stomach flu at the University of California, Davis, and at K-12 schools in Woodland and West Sacramento are the result of norovirus, a virulent form of the flu marked by vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Beth Gabor, spokeswoman for Yolo County, said at least 40 students and seven staff members at the various campuses have flu-like symptoms. “We’re still gathering information,” she said. The virus is highly contagious.

The latest warning comes after three Elverta schools in north Sacramento County were closed Thursday when 33 students and five teachers were struck with what county health officials said is the norovirus.

Most norovirus infections are mild and last only a few days. The infection is typically spread through contaminated water and food although it can pass from person to person.

Yolo County health officials advised parents to keep their ill children home until they are free of symptoms for 48 hours. They also advised washing hands with soap and water, cleaning all areas that have come in contact with diarrhea or vomit and consulting a physician.