Returning to normal after norovirus hits local school

LINCOLN, Mo. -- Last Wednesday night, the superintendent of the Lincoln R-II Schools in Benton County was faced with a tough dilemma: Keep the schools open, or shut them down after over 100 students fell sick with the norovirus.

"I think on Tuesday, we had 20-25 kids out which is pretty common for our district, K through 12," said Kevin Smith, Superintendent. "On Wednesday, we had 146 kids. Either they didn't come in that morning, or they left throughout the day."

On Thursday, custodial crews used bleach to clean the classrooms, bathrooms, and locker rooms.

"Just basically trying to get rid of any place the virus might be," Smith said.

But, Smith decided to cancel class on Friday after there weren't enough healthy teachers to make it in either.

Barb Schroder, a Public Health Nurse with the Benton County Health Department says the norovirus, or stomach flu, can last up to three days. She also gave some tips if you have any norovirus symptoms, which include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fevers.

"Lots of clear fluids. There really not a medication for the norovirus, so just pushing plenty of clear fluids. Anything you put in a glass and can see through is considered a clear fluid," Schroder said. "And then, just starting with a bland diet after that just just to kind of give your stomach a break."

Smith says that attendance is getting back to normal this week, so he doesn't believe there will be any problems this week.

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