SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The Snohomish Health District was notified on Wednesday regarding multiple children and staff sickened with a norovirus-like illness. The Starbright Early Learning Center in Everett has had numerous children and staff out with vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms closely match that of norovirus. The Snohomish Health District is working closely with the Department of Early Learning and Starbright to ensure that ill children stay home.
The Starbright Early Learning Center was proactive in contacting the Health District to report the illnesses. This has enabled the Health District to work with staff to ensure that they were doing everything needed to keep the kids and staff healthy. The Starbright facility had been doing an excellent job of cleaning the toys and facility; however, vomiting and diarrheal illnesses, like norovirus, are extremely easy to pass from person to person. The amount of virus that can fit on the head of a pin is all you need to make you sick.
RESOURCE: Norovirus Disease Fact Sheet
The most common symptoms of norovirus and other gastro-intestinal illnesses are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pains. Most people will develop symptoms 12-48 hours after being exposed and most people get better within 1 to 3 days. Although uncommon, severe illness can lead to dehydration requiring medical attention.
To prevent the further spread of this illness children or staff who are experiencing symptoms must stay home until they have been symptom free for 48 hours. Starbright is voluntarily closing the facility on Friday, August 26, so that staff can disinfect all surfaces, equipment, and toys.
“Even relatively benign diseases like norovirus can be extremely disruptive to families, schools, and workplaces,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Health Officer and Director of the Snohomish Health District. “Starbright is doing everything right to protect the children and staff. I know that when the facility re-opens next week, it will be a healthy place for everyone.”
The Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. To read more about the District and for important health information, visit www.snohd.org.