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Norovirus outbreak is forcing two Woodland schools to close

Have you ever heard of norovirus?

This short video explains what norovirus is, how it is spread, groups that are at high risk for severe disease and how you can protect yourself and loved ones from getting it. Seniors and young children are vulnerable.
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This short video explains what norovirus is, how it is spread, groups that are at high risk for severe disease and how you can protect yourself and loved ones from getting it. Seniors and young children are vulnerable.

The local norovirus outbreak has grown severe enough to force the closure of two Woodland elementary schools later this week.

The Yolo County Health Office and Woodland Joint Unified School District on Wednesday announced that Dingle Elementary School, 625 Elm St., and Tafoya Elementary School, 720 Homestead Way, will close Friday to try to curb the spread of the virus, also sometimes known as the stomach flu.

“While we have enhanced our cleaning efforts and worked to limit student interactions on campus, we need to take an even more aggressive approach at these two schools to end the outbreak,” said interim Superintendent Tom Pritchard in a press release. “Having students and staff away from school for four days will greatly reduce transmission of the virus and allow for additional deep cleaning at both sites.”

The two schools have been particularly hard-hit by the virus, which has hit 3,374 cases in Yolo County since May 1. Norovirus cases also have been reported in Sacramento County schools.

Noroviruses are the most common cause of acute stomach and intestinal infections in the United States. Noroviruses are highly contagious. They can be transmitted by infected people, contaminated food or water, or just by touching contaminated surfaces.

Symptoms include diarrhea, cramps and vomiting, and normally last one to three days. Yolo County Health Officer Ron Chapman advised parents to keep their children home if they show any signs of illness and for up to 48 hours after symptoms cease. Proper hygiene, especially washing hands with soap, also can help curb the spread of noroviruses.

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