Norovirus sickens hundreds at Lowry Elementary

- More than a hundred students at Lowry Elementary have fallen ill with the vomit-inducing bug norovirus over the last week.

"I see people just walking, and then they are just vomiting," said Julisa Barrios, a second-grader at Lowry Elementary.

Barrios mother, Yessenia Palacios says the school has been professional with its response. She and other parents got an email, a letter, and three voicemails about the outbreak from the Lowry Elementary principal since Thursday.

"If your child becomes ill, please keep him or her at home," the voicemail says.

The health department says two children have tested positive and it assumes the other 100-plus are all suffering from the same nasty disease.

There were only four kids in Barrios' class Friday.

"It has been really scary for me because usually I never see people throw up," said Barrios.

The district has dispatched deep cleaners three separate times: on Friday, over the weekend, and Wednesday.

But this is one stubborn bug.

"It stays on surfaces for up to weeks at a time and it can be resistant to some of the disinfectants that we use," said FOX 13 Medical Reporter, Dr. Joette Giovinco.

Norovirus can be passed just by touching someone who has it.

"From the moment you feel sick until about three days after you recover, you are shedding billions of virus particles," Giovinco said.

The district believes the regular deep cleanings and stepped-up hand washing will ultimately do the trick. The district says it has not considered closing the building.

"That is something we would work with the health department if they felt that it was a need. But we feel we are doing everything we can at the school to ensure the surfaces are clean and the students are safe and healthy," said district spokeswoman Tanya Arja.

Barrios' mother agreed that the district has taken the right approach, and promises Julisa will be at her desk Thursday.

"She had brought a kit to school to make sure we were protected," said Palacios.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Norovirus sickens hundreds at Lowry Elementary
  • St. Pete unveils new Community Resource Bus
  • Meet the 8 year-olds using jokes to fight cancer
  • A bite from this tick could result in a red meat allergy
  • Senate Republicans unveil new health care bill
  • Brain-eating amoeba: What is it, and how do you prevent contracting it?
  • Science confirms women's intuition is a real thing
  • South Korean startup introduces new technology for treating depression
  • The official treatment for a jellyfish sting isn't what you're thinking
  • Lead found in 20% of baby food, study says