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Small School District Hit With 500 Cases Of Norovirus

OXNARD ( — A small school district in Oxnard was hit with hundreds of cases of norovirus over the past few weeks, although the outbreak seems to have diminished as of Friday.

Rio School District Superintendent John Puglisi confirmed there have been 500 cases of norovirus at all eight of its schools, but one school was hit harder than the others: Rio Plaza Elementary.

"It was horrible, I have not been sick like that for years," Rio Plaza Parent Kelsey Evans told KCAL9 Friday.

Evans said both she and her husband fell ill one day after their daughter did.

Symptoms at Rio Plaza emerged more than a week ago, causing absences to surge, according to the Ventura County Star. While the district could not say how many cases were reported at Rio Plaza at the height of the outbreak, the number of students with the virus appears to be decreasing. Less than 10 students were out Friday due to the virus.

The district said multiple alerts to parents during the outbreak and Ventura County public health officials have come out and cleaned all the schools, which were not shut down during the outbreak.

"Anything is a consideration, but closing schools per say, did not come as one of the variables of choice," Puglisi said.

There is also a confirmed case of norovirus at Oak Park High School. Six more students there have reported symptoms. The health department has not yet called it an outbreak, however. Oak Park's principal told KCAL9 the school has spent hours sanitizing the school and fogging the classroom.

Norovirus symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and low-grade fever and can emerge as many as three days after contact. The symptoms often last less than two days. Children with these symptoms were being asked to stay home for up to 72 hours after the symptoms have passed.

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