ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC) – Parents of children in Arlington have officially been put on watch after the state of Virginia confirmed a Norovirus outbreak in the area.

Arlington Public Schools sent out a letter Wednesday alerting parents of the highly contagious virus after four cases of the virus were reported in the area.

A public health physician for Arlington County says the state of Virginia only needs to test two cases before confirming an outbreak.

“Whenever we think we have an outbreak of this going on, we send them a bunch of samples and they test them and as soon as they get two positives they stop testing,” said Dr. Sam Stebbins. “For them that’s confirmatory that there’s an outbreak.”

Viruses and germs in general, tend to spread quicker in elementary schools but Dr. Stebbins warns it can still spread to people of any age, and there is no vaccine or medicine for.

Norovirus causes gastroenteritis, or an infection of the stomach and intestines, and spreads through contact with an infected person’s vomit or stool, or through contact with contaminated food or other objects.

The most common symptoms of the virus include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and it typically keeps a person ill for a few days.

Parents of students were advised not to send their child to school if the child comes down with a fever or suffers from any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

Ways to lessen the chances of contracting the virus include frequently washing your hands  with soap – especially before or after meals – after using the bathroom, and any time your hands are dirty.


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