COLUMBUS, Ga. – A recent surge in sick kids has Columbus parents concerned. Local pediatricians blame the seasonal norovirus for keeping kids out of the classroom. News 3 decided to dig deeper to see how the Muscogee County School District is handling the issue.
The norovirus caused a Massachusetts Chipotle to shut down this week. Now, in Columbus, dozens of children are catching the virus and the dreaded symptoms that come with it. Darlene Shirley is the lead nurse with the Muscogee County School District. She says anyone can contract the norovirus through food, drink and physical contact with a contaminated surface. Symptoms could spark within 12-48 hours. Those include vomiting, diarrhea, fever or elevated temperature, and body aches.
“We have seen an increase in the number of children complaining of symptoms with the vomiting and the abdominal pain, yes we have,” Shirley said. “Not a lot, but we have seen an increase.”
Shirley recommends washing one’s hands is the primary defense against the virus. Staying hydrated, resting, and keeping away from others will also prevent the virus from spreading. The disease lasts about one to three days.
Any MCSD students with a fever must stay out of school for at least 24 hours.