More than 80 students out sick at LI high school in suspected norovirus outbreak

Babylon High School on Long Island
Babylon High School on Long Island Photo credit Google Street View

BABYLON, N.Y. (1010 WINS) — Suffolk County health officials said they suspect norovirus a common and highly contagious gastrointestinal illness as the reason why more than 80 students from Babylon High School were out sick last Friday.

The county health department inspected the high school's kitchen and food service areas, but there was no evidence that the outbreak originated in the cafeteria, Newsday reported. An investigation is currently underway.

School officials said a number of students and faculty members were vomiting and experiencing nausea on Friday. Over the weekend, the district contacted the county health department, and custodial staff sanitized surfaces.

"Norovirus has been circulating throughout the U.S. for the last few months as it does every year," said Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. Gregson Pigott. "We advise people to continue to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and disinfect surfaces to avoid coming into contact with pathogens that cause norovirus."

According to county officials, the outbreak appears to be limited to the high school, with a few cases among the elementary grades late last week.

Newsday reported earlier this month that cases of norovirus, which spreads through direct contact with a person who is infected, have been on the rise.

The symptoms, which include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and fever, usually subside in three days, according to the report.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Google Street View