MCPH comments on illness causing school closures, calls it a gastrointestinal virus

Local News

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — Rocky Mountain Elementary School will be closed Wednesday, marking the 3rd District 51 school closure related to an unknown illness.

Mount Garfield Middle school was once again closed today, after sending students home early on Monday. This comes following closures at Palisade High School Thursday and Friday of last week.

KREX 5 spoke with Mesa County Public Health in search of answers, they still do not know what the virus is.

MCPH does know it’s a gastrointestinal virus acting very much like the norovirus.

Behind the scenes, the school district and Mesa County Public Health are working feverishly to end the outbreak.

The health department says to be very careful because the original estimate of a 24 to 48 hour illness period may be a little short.

MCPH recommends two main steps to keep this highly contagious virus from spreading and one of those steps is cleaning but cleaning the most effective way.

Even though something says “kills 99.9% of germs”, what we know is, if it doesn’t say a “gastrointestinal illness such as norovirus” on the label, then there’s a likelihood it’s not effective.

If you can keep folks away for up to 72 hours, you start with a clean bill of health on that next day.

Jeff Kuhr, Mesa County Public Health

Doctor Kuhr with Mesa County Public Health also let us know citizens in Montrose are also commenting on feeling gastrointestinal illness symptoms.

If you or your loved ones are experiencing symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, Mesa County Public Health says the best action you can take to keep this outbreak from spreading further is to stay at home for at least 3 days.

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