Over 40 schools closed in Colorado's Mesa County after virus outbreak causes 'unprecedented' illness among children

After the spread of one kind of virus was detected, officials were made aware of a second type of virus in recent weeks, which combined with the first kind was proving to be quite harmful to kids


                            Over 40 schools closed in Colorado's Mesa County after virus outbreak causes 'unprecedented' illness among children

Due to a virus outbreak in a school district in Colorado that was rapidly spreading among the student population of the region, more than 40 schools have been closed for two days. 

The district said in a statement on Wednesday, November 20, that in an extremely rare situation, the Mesa County Valley School District 51 has had to close all schools due to a growing number of illnesses among children.

"We are taking this highly unusual action because this virus is extremely contagious and spreading quickly across our schools," Nursing Coordinator Tanya Marvin said in the statement.

The decision to close the schools in the area was taken after officials noticed an increased number of absences "due to illness and several incidences of vomiting in public areas of the schools," according to the Mesa County Public Health Department.

The closures will stay in place until after the Thanksgiving holidays, also after which, all after-school activities will resume. 

After the spread of one kind of virus was detected, officials were made aware of a second type of virus in recent weeks, which combined with the first kind was proving to be quite harmful to kids.

"The combination of the two has created an unprecedented spread of illness," the district's statement stated. "The onset of symptoms for both types of viruses, including vomiting, is incredibly fast. The second version also causes fever in several cases."

The Department of Health is yet to identify the illness that is spreading among the youngsters but the symptoms look "a lot like norovirus" and last between 12-24 hours, added the statement from the district.

The Norovirus usually spreads through direct contact, consuming contaminated food or water, touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your hands in your mouth, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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