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Stomach flu outbreak closed Crosslake school on Friday

Crosslake Community School officials closed the school Friday because of a stomach flu outbreak.

Terri Dabill, school administrative assistant, said the school board and staff decided Thursday to close school Friday because three staff members and more than 20 percent of students were out sick with stomach flu symptoms. School was closed Friday in an attempt to stop the spread of the illness.

Minnesota Department of Health officials told Crosslake School staff that the illness was likely caused by noroviruses, a group of viruses that cause the stomach flu or gastroenteritis. The term norovirus was recently approved as the official name for this group of viruses.

Symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and some muscle cramping. Sometimes people also have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly and the person may feel very sick. It is usually a brief illness, with symptoms lasting about one or two days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults, according to the Department of Health.

Dabill said staff members spent Thursday after school thoroughly cleaning the classrooms, lockers and building with a bleach solution.

School resumed Monday and Dabill said attendance was normal. The school has 29 staff and 130 students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade.

"We did the right thing, no doubt about it," said Dabill. "We've heard of it going around, definitely, and with our smaller count of students, something like that makes a big impact."

JODIE TWEED may be reached at jodie.tweed@brainerddispatch. com or 855-5858.

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