Aldrin ES Working to Stop Student Illness Outbreak

Aldrin ElementaryStaff at Aldrin Elementary School is working with the Fairfax County Department of Health to try and stop the spread of a gastrointestinal virus that has affected students at the Reston school.

A number of students have shown signs of illness this week. Neither school officials or Fairfax County Public Schools would say how many, but it was enough for Principal Shane Wolfe to alert parents to the situation.

It is believed to be viral and not a food contamination issue. Aldrin staff directed Reston Now to FCPS officials, who said the illnesses appear to be confined to one classroom.

“Parents have been notified and the classroom and common area surfaces are being disinfected,” said FCPS spokesman John Torre.

Here is what the principal said in a message to Aldrin families:

Dear Parent or Guardian:

It is our concern to promote quality health for the students in our school and to control and manage communicable diseases. In cooperation with the Fairfax County Health Department, we are sending this health information letter home because we have seen an increased number of students in the school complaining of vomiting and/or diarrhea at Aldrin Elementary School.

These illnesses could represent viral gastroenteritis, which is a common cause of vomiting and diarrhea.  The viruses that cause gastroenteritis are spread through close contact with infected persons. Individuals may also become infected by eating or drinking contaminated foods or beverages.  Although severe or long-term effects from viral gastroenteritis are uncommon, the very young, the elderly, and immunocompromised persons may develop more severe illness.

We are working with the Fairfax County Health Department to institute control measures in the school to limit the spread of illness.  You can assist these efforts by implementing the following recommendations:

Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom, before preparing food, before eating, and after any episodes of vomiting or diarrhea. If soap and water are not available, liquid hand sanitizers are also effective.

Monitor your child for signs and symptoms and notify the school if your child is sick with vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Keep any child experiencing symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea home and away from others until the child has been symptom free for at least 24 hours (i.e. he or she should not attend school, school functions, sporting or extracurricular activities, or leave the home except to seek medical care).

If you have questions regarding this information, please contact your physician or the Fairfax County Health Department School Public Health Nurse, Virginia Wilkinson, RN 703-237-6009

Sincerely,

Shane Wolfe

Principal

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