40+ students contract stomach illness at Bay area school

Posted at 1:05 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 17:10:27-04

A second Bay area elementary school is now dealing with multiple students suffering from a gastrointestinal illness.

Mitchell Elementary School in Tampa is reporting approximately 40 students sickened.

Earlier this week, Lowry Elementary dealt with a similar illness.

A letter was sent home to parents about it on April 25.

Students are being tested and treated. It is not confirmed at this time if the gastrointestinal illness is norovirus. 

An earlier report indicated a confirmed case at Mitchell, however, upon clarification, a spokesperson for the Hillsborough Co. Health Dept. clarified, while there haven't been any confirmed cases at the school, he believes it could be norovirus. 

Tanya Arja, spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County School District, says so far at least one student from Mitchell tested negative for the virus.

According to the Center for Disease Control, norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines or both. Symptoms of Norovirus include diarrhea, throwing up, nausea, stomach pain and occasionally a fever. headache and even body aches. Kids usually develop symptoms within 12 to 48 hours of being exposed to norovirus.

Alisha Moralejo says both her children who go to Mitchell Elementary got sick around the time the letter was sent to parents warning them about the illness.

She says doctors couldn't confirm whether they had norovirus or not, but the symptoms were very similar.

Her kids are now back at school, she says she made sure to disinfect her home for at least two weeks.

She urges parents who may be concerned to keep calm and remember, kids often get sick.

"Realize that this is a virus," she said, "that you have to stay hydrated and that it will end if you just keep vigilant, stay clean and wash your hands, then you'll be fine."