Norovirus outbreak that sickened dozens of kids linked to school salad bar
DENVER (KDVR) -- An elementary school in Denver will go through two deep cleanings after an outbreak of norovirus.
Denver Public Schools said nearly three dozens children at Oakland Elementary (4580 Dearborn St.) called out sick Thursday.
Three students and one staff member are confirmed to have norovirus, DPS officials said.
Denver Environmental Health officials inspected the school Wednesday. It did a deep cleaning Thursday and will do another on Saturday.
It is believed the self-serve salad bar might have contributed to the outbreak, district officials said. The salad bar will not be in service until Denver Environmental Health does another inspection Monday.
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The school will be open Friday, but officials said if children show symptoms, they need to be kept home for 48 hours.
"Denver Environmental Health came to the school, inspected school and they've told us what we need to do to make sure that the school is safe," Denver Public Schools spokesman Will Jones said. "One of those things is making sure all the hard surfaces in the school are clean.
"Thirty-two of our kids came down with symptoms. ... So it spreads very quickly. It's a very serious illness. We have 400 kids here. We're fortunate that it didn't spread any further."
Health officials will return to the school Monday to make sure the outbreak is over.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone from another infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.
It is similar to having a stomach flu, only worse. Some of the symptoms include vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, fever and body aches. It can lead to severe dehydration and most people get better in a couple of days.