NORTH MUSKEGON, Mich. — Officials at North Muskegon Public Schools announced Wednesday that school will be closed on Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12 to prevent the spread of what Public Health Officials believe could be the “Norovirus.”
Superintendent Curt Babcock reported that nearly 100 students were impacted by symptoms typical of the Norovirus including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. Other symptoms included low-grade fever, headache, weakness, and muscle aches.
Babcock said, “We care deeply about the students who are sick and are working closely with the Muskegon County Health Department to do what we can do to help stop the spread.” Babcock added, “The closure will allow our cleaning crews the time they need to thoroughly sanitize all of our school buildings.”
Public Health officials say the Norovirus is easily transmitted by person-to-person contact, through contaminated surfaces and food. It spreads easily in places where people gather as well as in homes. While Norovirus is sometimes called the “stomach flu,” it is not related to influenza (the flu) which is a respiratory viral illness that causes fever, cough, chills, headache, muscle aches, runny nose, and sore throat.
Symptoms of the Norovirus can begin as early as 12 hours after exposure to the virus or as late as 48 hours and usually lasts one to two days. In most cases, ill persons fully recover without medical attention. Public Health officials recommend that those with symptoms of the Norovirus do not return to their normal routines until 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped. The best way to limit the spread of this virus is frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm running water, being sure to completely clean all areas of hands and under fingernails.