WALKERTON — About 40 percent of students missed class Wednesday at a St. Joseph County middle school. Administrators are blaming most of the absences on something called a norovirus. The illness also spread to many teachers at Urey Middle School in Walkerton.
125 of the school’s 300 students were out Wednesday. The St. Joseph County Health Department thinks the problem is a norovirus, which is similar to the stomach flu but more contagious. Symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea; usually it lasts 24 to 48 hours. The Health Department says young kids are the biggest risk because they can get dehydrated.
“We couldn’t figure out anything that caused or triggered anything so we called the Health Department, which is protocol if you have more than 20 percent of your students absent,” said Principal Mark Maudlin.
“Generally it is self-limiting,” said Barb Baker with the St. Joseph County Health Department. “You know, 24, 48 hours you feel like you’ve been pretty washed out. And then you start getting better.”