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West Side school hit hard by stomach flu

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An outbreak of stomach flu this week has sent many Susie Rayos Marmon Elementary School students home sick and made life hard on the staff.

Dozens of students were out sick from the West Side school on Friday and Thursday, said Albuquerque Public Schools spokeswoman Monica Armenta.

APS has been working with the New Mexico Department of Health to prevent more kids from getting sick, Armenta said.

On Thursday, the school sent a letter to parents alerting them of the situation and explaining what they can do to keep their kids healthy.

“While the cause is not yet known for sure, information suggests that the illnesses may be caused by norovirus,” the letter said.

Norovirus symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping, according to the letter. Some people also experience low-grade fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches and fatigue. There is no medication or vaccine for norovirus.

Armenta said APS has had extra crews cleaning the school to prevent more infections. People catch the virus by touching contaminated objects or infected people and then touching their mouths.

Students who catch the illness should stay home for 48 to 72 hours after they recover from the sickness, the letter said.

Armenta said it is not unusual for a school to suffer from an outbreak of stomach flu during the school year. She said the district is not planning to shut down the school.

To avoid infection you should:

  • Disinfect contaminated surfaces with chlorine bleach-based cleaners; and
  • Wash soiled clothing and linens.

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