Students attempt to avoid flu-season bug

Warsaw students were hit hard in early December by an illness that closed down a neighboring school – the Norovirus.

   “A lot of people have been out with it and that sucks because it’s affecting our attendance,” junior Chloe Lux said.

   Lincoln schools were forced to close due to many students and staff coming down with the virus. According to the Mayo Clinic, Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone. It can be contracted from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes a person’s stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This causes stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms can be serious for some people, especially young children and older adults.

   “It made my stomach hurt super bad and it really just didn’t feel good at all,” freshman Aspen Whitaker said.

   The virus is sudden and comes quickly. It then leaves just as fast.

  “My stomach was just in a lot of pain,” Whitaker said. “It was weird how much pain it caused and how quickly I got rid of it.”

   When someone contracts the virus, it is common for them to not experience all the symptoms.

  “The norovirus affected me by causing stomach pain and causing me to miss school and a game,” sophomore Kya Schepker said. “I had awful stomach pain but never threw up.”

   The norovirus is extremely contagious. In order to help prevent it, there are a few things FCCLA adviser Suzie Dudenhoeffer advises to do.

  “Cook foods properly, only use safe drinking water, wash hands frequently and don’t share drinks or eating utensils with others,” Dudenhoeffer said.

  The school has tried to prevent the virus from spreading through various acts.

  “The janitorial staff has been cleaning and disinfecting handles, door knobs, sinks and water fountains. Hand sanitizer has been placed in the class rooms and halls encouraging students to use it,” LPN Cathy Foster said.

   If students end up with the virus anyway, there are some things they can do to get over it quicker.

  “Stay home, drink water, follow the BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applesauce and plain toast,” Dudenhoeffer said. “Wash your hands and use soap and water, not just Germ-X. Norovirus is very difficult to kill/stop the spread of. If you feel sick, stay home.”

   Dudenhoeffer is not the only one saying people need to wash their hands.

   “Wash your hands,” Foster said, “and when you cough, cough into your elbow. Coughing is airborne, while vomiting is not.”