Gastrointestinal Virus Outbreak


Berryessa Union School District responds to outbreak of Gastrointestinal Virus:  
 
Over the past few weeks, a number of students in Berryessa have shown symptoms of a relatively mild stomach illness caused by a Gastrointestinal Virus, possibly Norovirus— with primary symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms include: headache, stomach cramps, poor appetite, and/or fever. District administrators and health staff are carefully taking precautions to keep this highly contagious virus from spreading while working with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.  
 
Public health department recommends that students must be kept out of school until at least 48 hours with no diarrhea or vomiting without the aid of medications.  In most cases, students feel better within 1-2 days.  
 
The school district nurse has been in contact with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and they are recommending that we cancel any school events to stop the possible spread of the GI virus. Our school district nurse is also working with the department on a daily basis with reporting procedures, classroom/school cleaning, updates/questions and any follow up recommendations.
 
At our district, the school staff are working diligently to protect the health and safety of our students, including but not limited to:
  • Cleaning and sanitizing affected schools on a daily basis. 
  • Increasing the frequency of routine classroom, bathroom cleaning and disinfecting using bleach solutions. 
    Sending out exposure notices to parents, volunteers and staff if there are 2 or more ill persons in one single classroom.  
  • Sending updates to parents and families via our internal email/phone communication system;
  • Encouraging parents to follow the “48-hour rule” above;
  • Emphasizing the importance of handwashing with students, staff and volunteers.  Hands should be washed using soap and water. Hand sanitizers are not are not effective against some common causes of gastroenteritis.
  • Cancelling any "social" events in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
The district is encouraging parents to continue to send their children to school as long as they are healthy and not exhibiting symptoms of the stomach virus such as vomiting and diarrhea.  When reporting an absence, we ask parents to report when symptoms started and what the symptoms are. Please call your doctor if you have any concerns.
 
Please follow the CDC guidelines link below to prevent the spread of Gastrointestinal Virus/Norovirus:  https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/preventing-infection.html