Originally published November 12 2014
Boston elementary school abandoned as 150 are sickened by possible norovirus
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) One hundred forty children and 10 staff members at Boston's Condon Elementary School are among the latest to be impacted by a possible norovirus outbreak. There were concerns that parents and those using the school for community activities such as voting may have been put at risk, but according to a spokeswoman for Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, it's believed that cause for concern is unnecessary, as the school was thoroughly cleaned.(1)
Cleanliness is essential when it comes to staving off and fighting norovirus, something which principal Robby Chisholm is taking seriously. Additional soap, hand sanitizer and wipes are more commonplace in the school now.
Furthermore, Chisholm has been involved in ongoing communication with parents, sending informative flyers to students' homes and providing them with messages at the onset of the virus's spread. When the outbreak first occurred, she told parents that "Teams were onsite today cleaning the school so we can stop any further illness spread. For those of you who have children who are ill, we will make sure to catch them up on their schoolwork when they come back -- we just want them to focus on getting healthy soon."(1)
It was also advised that childrenwho were sickened with norovirus should remain home until they are free of symptoms, which typically include vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, for 24 hours.
The virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water supplies, as well as person-to-person contact, and is commonly spread in areas where there are closely confined quarters such as schools, cruise ships, prisons and camps.(2)
Norovirus has hit other schools recentlyThis isn't the first time norovirus has hit school systems.
This October, a foodborne illness was eyed as playing a role in a suspected outbreak in Indiana's Peifer Elementary School, where nearly 130 students were sickened and remained out of school.(3) Like Condon Elementary School, utmost attention to cleanliness was given priority, and a cleaning solution provided by the Department of Health was used virtually everywhere in the school.
"We are cleaning with a solution that was provided to us by the Department of Health," a Peifer school official said. "Anything that moves: doorknobs, desks, computer screens, lunchroom tables, the entire building."(3)
Also in October, over 100 students in Arizona's Kyrene de la Colina Elementary School were sickened with norovirus.(4)
Cruise ships another common place for norovirus outbreaksThe cruiseliner industry is another hotbed of norovirus activity.
In February 2014, passengers and crew members aboard Holland America's MS Veendam cruise ship fell ill, suffering from diarrhea and vomiting. In response, environmental health experts and an epidemiologist boarded the 1,273-passenger-carrying ship once it docked in Florida, where they began health assessments and testing. It was ultimately determined that the 16-year-old ship had been involved in similar outbreaks throughout the years and that it failed when it came to sanitation issues, including the discovery of brown liquid that was dripping on clean dishes.(5)
In 2013, two cruise ships, the Emerald Princess and the Queen Mary 2 ocean liners, drew attention when upwards of 200 passengers (aboard each ship) were sickened with diarrhea and vomiting symptoms.(2)
How to boost immunity naturallyTo help improve immunity and fight against viruses like norovirus, cleanliness is essential, but turning to common home remedies may also be effective.
For example, drinking more water to stay hydrated and fight off dehydration due to diarrhea is encouraged, as is consumption of peppermint tea, coconut water beverages and apple cider vinegar, all of which can help boost immunity, soothe upset stomach and bolster antimicrobial function throughout the body.(2)
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