HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - The health director for Piedmont Health district confirms that the stomach bug that affected dozens of students is rotavirus.
Dr. Alex Samuel says the virus is similar to norovirus and has similar symptoms: nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Children with the virus get sick quickly for three to eight days. The virus usually affect younger children and is spread through "fecal-oral" - bad hand washing, then touching a surface, then someone else touches the surface and it spreads.
Dr. Samuel says parents should monitor kids and make sure they get fluids to avoid dehydration.
The state health department notified parents of Cold Harbor Elementary School students about the illness after about 75 students became sick. The school sent a letter out to parents warning of a number of cases of illness with symptoms that include vomiting and diarrhea.
Dr. Samuel says at last check, there were 80 total cases of those who were symptomatic over the last 10 days.
Parents confirmed a robo-call from the school encouraged hand-washing and other tips for minimizing the risk of becoming sick.
Cold Harbor ES is making sure to be extra vigilant in cleaning bathrooms, table surfaces and other areas. Handwashing is key to preventing the spread of a virus, since it is spread through infected feces or vomit. Parents should keep their children home for at least 24 hours if they begin showing symptoms of the stomach bug.