Three norovirus outbreaks suspected at Washoe schools

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) There have been three suspected outbreaks of norovirus at Washoe County Schools since June, the Washoe County Health District says.

The latest came at Caughlin Ranch Elementary School. The number of students affected has not been reported.

Norovirus is a highly contagious illness that usually shows up one to two days after being exposed.

In 2015, a massive outbreak sickened about 2000 students and school faculty in Washoe County.

Calling in sick may not always be convenient, but it is one of the things students and staff are urged to do if they do get sick.

“Norovirus is very contagious,” said Washoe County Health District epidemiologist Kerry Chakley. “Just a few particles can make someone sick. And even a pea-sized amount of stool can contain billions of particles. So it’s very important for people when they are sick to stay home, and out of that particular environment.”

The health district also says one thing that is often not effective against norovirus is hand sanitizer. Chakley says regular handwashing is a much better way to prevent it.