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Two confirmed norovirus cases, more than 100 students ill at Tampa elementary school

 
Published May 11, 2017

Two children at Lowry Elementary School in Tampa have tested positive for the highly contagious norovirus and more than 100 others have fallen ill with a vomit-inducing stomach bug that mirrors the norovirus symptoms.

Those symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain.

The illness was first detected on May 4 when 12 students in the school's after-school program were sick or complaining about upset stomachs, according to Tanya Arja, spokeswoman with the Hillsborough County School District.

By Friday morning, some parents were calling in and reporting their kids were sick or exhibiting similar symptoms.

"We did a wipe-down of the school on Thursday and cleaned the school on Friday and again over the weekend," Arja said.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health contacted the school and confirmed the norovirus diagnosis at the school, at 11505 Country Hollow Dr,

"We've sent home several phone messages, emails and letters to parents," Arja said. "The health department is recommending that if a child has symptoms, they have to stay home until they're 48 hours symptom-free."

Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines — or both — and those affected usually develop signs of the virus within 12 to 48 hours of being exposed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most who have the illness recover within one to three days, the CDC said.

"The message absolutely is, if you're sick, stay home," said Hillsborough County Department of Health spokesman Steve Huard.

Contact Samantha Putterman at sputterman@tampabay.com. Follow her on Twitter @samputterman.