Norovirus Takes Over Olympia



By Natalie Stone, OHS Torch Reporter

            Olympia High School and Middle School students faced an outbreak of Norovirus that quickly spread around the school the week of January 23, causing many students to go home sick.

            Nurse Melissa Pffefer reported that 10 middle school and 15 high school students came into the nurse’s office with Norovirus the week of January twenty-third. The Norovirus also affected multiple middle school teachers.

            Some of the symptoms of Norovirus are stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. It is a very contagious virus. Norovirus is not the flu, which is a viral respiratory infection.

            Norovirus can be prevented by washing surfaces with bleach solution, washing fruits and vegetables before consumption and not preparing food when you are sick. Washing your hands (especially before eating) is also crucial, since hand sanitizer does not kill the Norovirus.

“The most important thing to prevent the spread of disease is handwashing,” said Nurse Pffefer.

Mrs. Pffefer said that the Norovirus spread so quickly because of the lack of handwashing. She also says that this kind of outbreak happens every year with different viruses, due to students being in a closed environment all winter.

Hannah Missel, a student who had Norovirus, said, “I had it on and off for a week. I would throw up one day and be fine the next.”

Hannah said that she believes she got it from someone at school. One of Hannah’s friends got sick after she had it.