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Grass Valley, Calif. May 8, 2017 – Nevada County Public Health is investigating a possible Norovirus outbreak at Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning (SAEL). As of Friday, just over 30 students and staff had presented with symptoms.

“Public Health is working closely with school officials to investigate the outbreak,” says Dr. Ken Cutler, Nevada County Health Officer. The school is working diligently on cleaning the facility and was closed on Monday to further that effort.

Norovirus (often referred to as “stomach flu”) is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States, infecting about 20 million Americans each year. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps and can last for 1-3 days.

Norovirus is very contagious. Though people are most contagious when sick with vomiting and diarrhea, they may also infect others shortly before symptoms start and after they feel better. For this reason, it is recommended that people with the illness stay home until at least 48 hours after they no longer experience vomiting or diarrhea.

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The best protection against norovirus is frequent, thorough hand washing with soap and water, refraining from sharing food and drink with others, and keeping hands away from your face and mouth. Consult your doctor if you have questions. Fluid loss with diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration. If you or your child becomes weak or is unable to drink fluids, seek immediate medical care.

For more information on preventing Norovirus outbreaks, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/downloads/keyfacts.pdf.