Virus hits elementary school in Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – About 1 out of every 4 students at Conger Elementary School in Klamath Falls has been hit with a suspected norovirus.

A ‘bad bug’ has hit Conger Elementary School.

While the virus hasn’t been positively identified, it’s believed to be similar to the Norwalk virus.

“How it presents it really severe gastrointestinal symptoms.”  Says Klamath County Public Health Director Marilynn Sutherland.  “It can be diarrhea, vomiting – people report that they feel really sick.”

About 450 kids attend Conger School.

Kids began getting sick in late October, and then the outbreak spiked.

“At our worst count, we had about 120 students that were out.”  Note Klamath Falls City Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Hillyer.  “Which is about a fourth of the school population.”

Health officials caution that not all of those students may have been victims of the virus.

An information sheet was sent out to parents on Thursday.

Public Health Nurse Katie Singleton points out that the bug tends to hit quick, and hard…

“The incubation period is 32 to 36 hours.  The course of the disease is 1 to 2 days.”

However, people can remain contagious up to 3 days after symptoms are over.

Janitorial staff were taking advantage of a scheduled ‘no school’ day today at Conger, giving the campus a thorough cleaning.

Health officials say thorough hand washing, covering your cough, and staying home when you’re sick are the most effective ways to help prevent spreading the sickness.

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