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Health experts recommend keeping kids home for an extra 48 hours to prevent spread of stomach bug

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Parents of students at Crestwood Elementary in Chesterfield, Virginia, have been urged to keep their kids home for an extra 48 hours after symptoms subside, as more and more children are showing up at school with a stomach bug. The Chesterfield Health Department is uncertain whether the sickness is norovirus, which is highly contagious and causes vomiting and diarrhea, or another gastrointestinal illness. However, officials have stressed the rapid spread of the virus and the need for preventative measures.

“Children can easily get the virus by touching common surfaces or coming in contact with someone infected and not washing their hands before touching their face,” warns pediatrician Tiffany Kimbrough at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

Sadly, Chesterfield is not the only school district experiencing a surge of illnesses. Recently, two schools in Petersburg reported 50 cases of what officials suspected was norovirus. Health officials fear that the sheer number of people contracting the virus simultaneously could overwhelm healthcare systems.

According to the Chesterfield Health Department, the illness can last anywhere between 3 to 12 days, but officials recommend keeping children at home for an extra two days to prevent the spread. Additionally, parents should watch out for symptoms such as stomach cramping, low-grade fever, chills, muscle aches, or headaches, along with diarrhea and vomiting.

To avoid the spread of the virus, doctors stress the importance of handwashing. Not only can it prevent the transmission of the virus, but it can also protect against contracting it in the first place.

Parents must keep their children home from school until they are fully recovered from the virus to avoid the spread of the disease. Ultimately, practicing good hygiene and staying home when sick can help prevent the virus from spreading throughout the community.

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