Norovirus strikes at two Arlington elementary schools

Photo: Courtney Carmody via Creative Commons

It has struck hotels and cruise ships and now the Norovirus is impacting two local elementary schools.

Outbreaks of what’s known as the winter vomiting disease have occurred at Arlington’s Patrick Henry and Randolph elementary schools.

Tashima Smith is picking up her seven-year-old son after getting a call from the nurse.

“It started on a Monday around 4 a.m. He’s been down since. He’s just been having vomiting, diarrhea, and a little fever,” she says.

On Wednesday, the Arlington County School System sent a letter to the 870 families at these two south Arlington schools. It outlines what the Norovirus is, how it spreads, and what parents should do.

“If your kids are sick please keep them home,” says Dr. Sam Stebbins of the Arlington County Health Department. “If they throw up don’t send them into school on the theory it was just an upset stomach or anxiety or something along those lines.”

There is no vaccine for the virus that parents say comes on quickly. Health officials say this will spread if parents don’t take action.

“I’ll keep him home, but this is the fourth day he’s been home. He’s missing out on school because of this virus,” says Saadia Quresh.