Norovirus Sweeping Through Local Tampa Elementary School

Parents of students at Lowry Elementary School are dealing with an illness that quickly spread through the halls.

After reporting a large number of illnesses the Hillsborough County School District said the elementary school has 12 students who were sick last Thursday, May 4. All 12 of those students were part of the same after-school program.

By Friday morning that number grew and the school sent out an alert that there was a gastric illness going around the school and to please keep your child at home if they were sick.

By then the Department of Health notified Hillsborough County school district that there were several kids who tested positive for norovirus and more than 100 kids were sick at that point.

Photo: Hillsborough education foundation

Norovirus causes inflammation in the stomach and/or intestines, said the Center for Disease Control. It is known as acute gastroenteritis. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • diarrhea
  • throwing up
  • nausea
  • stomach pain

But can also include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • body aches

A person in contact with the virus can usually develop symtpoms within 12 to 48 hours. The virus normally runs in course in one to three days.

“While the school district or health officials might ASSUME every child caught it, there are still kids who didn’t get their results back or parents didn’t take them to the doctor,” said Tanya Arja, spokewoman for the Hillsborough County School District, to abc action news.

The district is asking parents with sick children to keep them home from school for 48 hours in hopes that the virus will run it’s course and less students will get sick.