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August 27, 2014

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5 high schools being sanitized after Norovirus outbreak

Image

Steve Marcus

In this June 10, 2013, file photo, football players work out in an updated weight room at Western High School. Athletic facilities at Western and four other Clark County high schools were being sanitized after an outbreak of Norovirus among youth football players who used the facilities during the recent National Youth Football Championship.

The Clark County School District is cleaning five high schools after an outbreak of the highly contagious Norovirus sickened dozens of people attending a youth football tournament last week.

Five local high schools hosted about 7,000 students and parents attending the National Youth Football Championship from Wednesday to Saturday.

During the four-day event, about 100 elementary school students and parents visiting from California fell ill. Some of them were transported to area hospitals and later released.

Although the youth football players did not use classrooms, they used the athletic fields and facilities, as well as school bathrooms.

School District officials announced today that the five high schools — Canyon Springs, Chaparral, Cheyenne, Mojave and Western — are undergoing additional cleaning to prevent the spread of Norovirus, which can pass from person to person if they do not wash their hands.

Southern Nevada Health District officials determined the cause of the outbreak was Norovirus, a highly contagious viral disease that causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Two people who became sick tested positive for the virus.

Health officials said the virus could have originated with someone who arrived for the tournament. It can take up to 12 hours before a person shows Norovirus symptoms, so it is difficult to determine the source of illness, officials said.

Health officials are investigating to determine the source.

Hotel officials at the Rio, which hosted some of the tournament attendees, set up hand-sanitizer stations throughout the casino and hotel to prevent the spread of the disease. Any visitors or employees who feel sick are encouraged to contact health officials.

The best way to prevent the spread of Norovirus is to wash hands frequently and for those who are ill to stay home until they feel better, health officials said.

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