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Message from Jf. County Health Dept. about Stomach Virus


With an increase in the incidents of students dealing with stomach virus we want to provide families with information from the Jefferson County Health Department. The district has increased efforts to sanitize desks, door-knobs, water fountains, etc. to help reduce potential contamination.    Below you will find helpful information regarding what to do if your child becomes ill and how to prevent the spread of illness.


What should you do if your child is ill with vomiting or diarrhea?

  • Make sure they get plenty of rest
  • Ensure they drink plenty of fluids, taking sips rather than gulps to avoid vomiting.
  • If your child is unusually sleepy, won’t take fluids or has other symptoms, such as blood in their diarrhea, an unusual rash, headache, neck stiffness or difficulty breathing, contact your doctor or take your child to the hospital.
  • Please let your child’s school know that your child is ill and what symptoms they have.
  • Please contact the local health department if you would be willing to have your child submit a stool specimen to determine the cause of the illness.
  • Keep them at home until they are well enough to return to school but ensure they have been at home for at least 24 hours after the first normal stool or symptoms stop.


How can you prevent the spread of these infections?

Hand washing is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of these infections. This applies to the child who is ill and the person looking after them.   Hands should always be washed with hot water and antibacterial liquid soap:

  • before and after caring for your child
  • after using the toilet
  • before eating or handling food
  • after cleaning up vomit, feces or urine


Other ways of preventing the spread of infection are to:

  • do not share bath water
  • keep a separate towel for each family member who has symptoms
  • clean baths and washbasins thoroughly and disinfect after use
  • disinfect the toilet flush handles and door handles
  • dispose promptly of used tissues and other items that your child may have coughed or sneezed on
  • wash soiled clothing, bed linen and towels separately in a washing machine, use the hottest wash for that fabric
  • wear disposable gloves when cleaning soiled area
  • designate a separate bathroom (if available) to be used exclusively by the sick individual


If cleaning up diarrhea or vomit, wash the surface with hot soapy water and disinfect before allowing to dry. If using bleach remember that it can remove the color from fabrics and can burn the skin.


Keep your ill child away from other children and people that are particularly vulnerable, e.g. the elderly and those with long-standing illnesses.


If you require any further information or advice, contact the Jefferson County Health Department at:  785-403-0025.