Dozens of Gladstone kindergartners sick in stomach virus outbreak

Dozens of kids sick in stomach virus outbreak

GLADSTONE, Ore. -- Take one look at 5-year-old Tanner and you wouldn't know that just a couple days ago he was in the emergency room with zero energy, feeling sick, and struggling with a 104.9 degree fever.

“I was scared. I'm like what the heck is going on, because anything above 103 and I'm freaking out,” said Tanner’s dad, Brandon Walker.

But soon he got an e-mail saying several kindergartners were out with a contagious stomach virus. The children had similar symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

A statement from the Gladstone School District said more than 40 kids stayed home sick on Friday. About 30 of them reported stomach virus symptoms.

"That's a really big amount because it's a really small kindergarten center,” said Abbi Bateman, who tutors at the school.

Bateman is a senior over at Gladstone High School. She said this week she got an e-mail telling her not to show up. Too many kids were getting sick.

"That's like two classrooms put together,” said Bateman as she talked about the number of kids who stayed home from school. “I’ve never heard of something this big before."

Bateman hopes her kids get healthy soon.

“They're my little kiddos and I love them. So I just hope they get better because I don't like to see them sick or sad."

That's the goal for folks at the Gladstone School District too. A statement reads in part:

"As a precaution, the school has intensified daily cleaning efforts at the school, while reinforcing the importance of hand washing."

For now, Tanner and his parents are just glad he's back to his normal self, and he has one piece of advice.

“Don't get sick,” said Tanner.

A spokesperson with the Gladstone School District said they're not entirely sure if it's norovirus, but they're treating it like it is.

In an e-mail to parents, school officials said before sick students can come back to school, they need to stay at home for at least 48-hours until their symptoms go away.

Norovirus is an extremely contagious stomach bug and health officials say hand sanitizers alone will not prevent the virus from spreading.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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