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Over 700 Students Sickened By Norovirus

More than 700 students and faculty in the Reno, Nevada, area were sickened after a norovirus outbreak spread to more than a dozen different schools.

There has been about 776 reported cases of norovirus in Washoe County since last Friday, Phil Ulibarri, public information officer for the Washoe County Health District, told ABC News today.

According to Ulibarri, some Day Care centers are also affected.  At one point people were sick with the virus in 17 schools, three day cares and one charter school, Ulibarri said, adding that the number of affected school district schools has now gone down to 15.

Norovirus is a common virus that affects the gastrointestinal system and can spread widely. Every year the virus leads to between 19 million and 21 million illnesses and 570 to 800 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Norovirus spreads from an infected person or contaminated food, water or surfaces, the CDC said. The virus causes the stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed, which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and nausea.

“We hope that we can get the message across to people that they need to practice good hygiene,” Ulibarri said, urging people affected to “wash their hands frequently” and “exclude themselves from school, work and social activities for at least 72 hours after symptoms have subsided. Source: ABC News

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