Noro Virus Suspected at Reno School

Health authorities are suspicious that the same virus that has swept through cruise ships recently is responsible for sickening at least 100 students and staff members at Alice Smith Elementary in Reno this week.

The year-round school in Golden Valley closed early Thursday after parents were called to pick up their children.

Students and teachers at Smith Elementary have reported vomiting, diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms since Tuesday. All are symptoms of the noro virus.

Health officials took stool samples from students and staff members Wednesday and Thursday.

"The (tests) won't be back for a couple days but it's looking like noro virus, like the kind that spreads fast through cruise ships, nursing homes and day care centers," said Davis, spokeswoman for the Washoe District Health Department.

Davis said parents should make sure family members wash their hands after using the bathroom and before eating. She said parents of children who have symptoms of the virus should mix a half cup of bleach with a gallon of water and use a spray bottle to disinfect household surfaces.

School district spokesman Steve Mulvenon said workers will disinfect the school building while pupils and staff members are gone.

Officials hope to reopen the school Monday.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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