VDH identifies illness sweeping through Cold Harbor Elementary

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Health confirmed Friday that the stomach bug that has affected nearly 100 students at Cold Harbor Elementary School in Hanover has been identified as rotavirus.

Dr. Alex Samuel with the VDH said rotavirus a common gastrointestinal illness that is similar, and actually related to norovirus. It spreads rapidly, and is most common in children.

Roughly 90 students have come down with the illness since April 21st.

The VDH urges parents to monitor their children for dehydration if they begin to show any of the symptoms, which include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The illness is spread person-to-person, and typically lasts anywhere from 3-8 days.

The most common way of contracting the virus is by touching surfaces or objects that are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth before hand washing.

The best way to prevent the spread of the virus is frequent hand washing with warm water and soap, especially after using the restroom and before eating or preparing food.

Hanover Schools sent the following parents to CHES parents:

Dear CHES Parents/Guardians,

Attached you will find an updated letter that HCPS just received from the Chickahominy Health District in reference to the recent illnesses experienced by CHES students.  As you will note, the likely cause of the illness has been determined to be the Rotavirus.  Please read the letter carefully to help keep your student(s) healthy, as well as to prevent this virus from spreading any further. 

In addition, please be assured that our staff members are continuing to work hard to help eliminate the spread of this virus.  As always, our goal is to provide an environment that is as safe and healthy as possible.  To this end, we have been and will continue to be in constant contact with the Hanover Health Department to ensure we implement any and all recommendations we are provided.   

If you have any questions about this recent outbreak, please call your family physician, or you may contact Ms. McIntosh, Chickahominy Health District Epidemiologist, at (804) 365-4344.

We will continue to keep you informed as further updates become available to us.  As always, we appreciate your assistance and support with helping to keep our students healthy.


Chris R. Whitley

Public Information Officer


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