The gastrointestinal illness that kept hundreds of Wheaton students out of school earlier this week was a norovirus, according to DuPage County Health Department.
In a letter emailed to parents of students at Edison Middle School, the county health department said it is working the state, District 200 and the school to prevent further illnesses.
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According to the letter, symptoms of norovirus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain or cramping. The best way to minimize the risk of contracting the virus is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom and before handling food, the letter said.
Also, parents should disinfect contaminated surfaces with a bleach-based household cleaner after episodes of diarrhea or vomiting, the health department advised.
On Monday, 465 students -- out of a school population of about 700 -- were absent. That number fell to 180 on Tuesday and to 89 on Wednesday, the district said. The school canceled all before- and after-school activities for the rest of the week as a precaution.
For more information on norovirus, visit www.cdc.gov/norovirus or call the DuPage County Health Department at (630) 221-7553.