Chicago High School Shuts Down After Norovirus Outbreak

A Chicago high school has closed down for several days after hundreds of students and several staff members became sick due to a presumed norovirus outbreak.

In a statement, the St. Charles District 303 explained, “While a clinical determination has yet to be made about the stomach virus that is going around, the symptoms are similar to norovirus, so, we are following the procedures regarding norovirus. We are now working to assist the Illinois Department of Public Health in their efforts to more clearly identify this virus.”

The school continued on by saying, “The CDC recommends that people with norovirus be symptom free for 48 hours before returning to normal activities. With that in mind, classes at St. Charles East High School are cancelled on Wednesday, January 11 and will resume on Thursday, January 12.”

The high school continued on by advising parents to keep their children at home on Wednesday and to not allow students around each other.

Despite the school closing, doors are expected to reopen on Thursday, January 12th with finals taking place next week Tuesday.

What is the norovirus?

According to the CDC, the norovirus is a contagious virus that can be transmitted through contaminated food or water. In addition, the virus can be transmitted to others by touching contaminated objects. The virus then attacks the stomachs causing abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

This is not the first time this virus has made the news. Last March, a Boston Chipotle store closed down after several employees tested positive for the norovirus. Unfortunately, for Chipotle the outbreak controversy has never fully escaped the company. In fact, a recent Huffington Post/YouGov Poll found only 36% of people surveyed found Chipotle was safe to eat.