Gastrointestinal diseases lead to the closure of the primary school in Witten
In the past few weeks, noroviruses have caused severe gastrointestinal diseases in several federal states. Due to the frequent gastrointestinal infections, the Witten Hüllberg primary school was closed on Friday, November 16, on instructions from the health department of the Ennepe-Ruhr district.
According to official information, 72 pupils and four adults at the Witten primary school had been suffering from a severe gastrointestinal infection with diarrhea, nausea and vomiting in the past few days. On Thursday, employees of the local health department got an overview of the situation and decided to temporarily close the primary school. Leaflets were distributed in which the health authority appeals to parents "at the earliest to send their child back to class when there are no signs of illness for two days" to prevent further spread within the school.
School closure is supposed to interrupt the infection chain. So far, it has not been finally clarified what caused the increased gastrointestinal diseases at primary school, but the experts from the health authority "suspect that a noro virus is the cause." Here, "the results of Ultimately, stool samples provide the necessary clarity, ”explained the head of the Social and Health Department of the Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis district administration, Dr. Hans-Joachim Boschek. Initially, all 236 children, as well as teachers and caregivers, stayed at home on Friday to interrupt the infection chain, Boschek continues. In addition, the school building was thoroughly disinfected. A long-planned school conference will take place on Monday at the primary school, so that the students will only be able to attend school again from Tuesday. The health office hopes to stop the spread of infections by the longer break. On Tuesday, "in any case only healthy children should appear at the beginning of the lesson", because "otherwise the chain of infection threatens", emphasized Dr. Boschek.
Severe gastrointestinal diseases caused by noroviruses According to the Health Department, noroviruses are "one of the most common causes of acute gastrointestinal diseases and outbreaks in community facilities such as schools and kindergartens." Path through pathogens that are excreted with vomit or bowel movements. Even a small intake of the pathogens can cause the typical gastrointestinal disease. In addition to vomiting and severe diarrhea, this often causes accompanying symptoms such as abdominal pain, headache, muscle pain, body aches, fatigue and mild fever, reports the health department. Normally, "the symptoms last between 12 and 72 hours, the incubation period is one to two days," continues Dr. Boschek. The expert advises the children of sick children to particularly thorough hygiene, avoiding direct contact with the child and disinfecting hands after each use of the toilet. Boschek emphasized that thorough disinfection should also be followed after contact with vomit and before preparing food. The use of a "virus-effective, alcohol-based hand disinfectant" is recommended here.
Increase in norovirus infections in Lower Saxony In early November, Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) had already reported a significant increase in norovirus infections in Lower Saxony in 2012. 8,180 norovirus diseases have already been registered this year, compared to only 6,590 in the same period last year, according to the TK, citing data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). This corresponds to a 24 percent increase in severe gastrointestinal diseases. According to the TK in Lower Saxony, the Braunschweig region was particularly affected with 2,473 reported cases and the Hanover region with 2,304 cases. However, the health insurance company was unable to explain why such a significant increase in norovirus infections can be observed this year. (fp)
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