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Mystery illness at Edison Middle School identified by Health Department

Published: Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 12:50 p.m. CST

WHEATON – After more than half of the student body of Edison Middle School called in sick Monday, the DuPage County Health Department has announced the identity of the mystery illness.

The outbreak of gastrointestinal symptoms was caused by norovirus, according to a letter sent to middle school parents, students and staff. The health department identified it as very contagious, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and cramping. Most who contract the virus experience mild illness and recover in one to three days, the letter said.

The rash of sickness kept 28 students home on Friday, according to Edison officials. By Monday, 465 of the school's 706 students were absent. 180 were absent Tuesday.

The health department advised good hygiene, including handwashing and disinfecting contaminated surfaces to prevent further exposure. Those who have experienced symptoms of gastrointestinal illness or dehydration should contact their physician, refrain from food preparation for up to 48 hours after their recovery and drink plenty of liquid.

For more information on norovirus, visit www.cdc.gov/norovirus or contact the health department at 630-221-7553.

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