MOSES LAKE, Wash. – Longview Elementary will be closed Friday because of an outbreak of a norovirus-like illness through the students and staff.
Nearly 25-percent of the students at Longview Elementary are sick, according to the Grant County Health District.
Students and staff are experiencing stomach flu-like viral sickness symptoms like fever, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
The Grant County Health District wants sick staff and children to stay at home for at least 48 hours after diarrhea and/or vomiting stop.
The district said in a news release that it is likely that more students, staff and other community members will get sick since the illness is very infectious.
The district did not identify the exact name of the sickness, but called it similar to the norovirus.
The district advises people that become sick with a stomach virus to stay home, stay away from well family members, clean bathroom and surfaces after use, drink plenty of fluids, don’t prepare food for others and wash your hands often.
The news release stated, “Those infected begin to fall ill about 24 – 48 hours after swallowing the virus, with a range of 12-48 hours. The sickness is usually brief, lasting only one to three days. This virus is most commonly spread by eating contaminated foods or liquids, touching contaminated surfaces or objects and then placing hands in mouth, or having direct contact with a person who is infected and showing symptoms.”
The district requested everyone in the Moses Lake community to follow these prevention strategies:
• Wash hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet.
• Wash hands with soap and warm water before handling food or ice.
• Wash hands with soap and warm water before eating.
• Refrain from food handling duties if currently ill and for 2 days after diarrhea and vomiting have stopped.
• Discard foods that have been handled or prepared by someone who is, or has recently had, vomiting or diarrhea.
• Promptly clean and disinfect any surfaces that become soiled with vomit or diarrhea.
Health District staff is working closely with the Moses Lake School District and providing CDC recommended instructions, including those on cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces of the school.