The Public Schools of Brookline

                                                          School Health Services





December 2012  


Several schools are experiencing a cluster (several students in the same grade) with symptoms of a Norovirus. NLV must be swallowed to cause infection. NLV are then passed in the stool and vomit of infected people from the day they start to feel ill up to as long as 2-3 weeks after they feel better. NLV are usually spread by eating or drinking contaminated food or drinks or by close contact with an infected person.


The Kaplan Criteria is used to determine if an outbreak is Norovirus:

1.  A mean (or median) illness duration of 12-60 hours,

2.  A mean (or median) incubation period of 24 to 48 hours,

3.  More than 50% of staff/students with vomiting, and

4.  No bacterial agent found.


When all four criteria are present, it is very likely that the outbreak was caused by Norovirus.  Your school nurse will notify you if your child is considered to be part of a cluster that meets these criteria. Instead of the recommendation of 24 hours at home after the last episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea, the requirement will be 72 hours as recommended by the CDC and the Brookline Health Department.



Recommendation from the Brookline Health Department:


To prevent the spread of the virus at school and home the following MUST be implemented.

  • DO NOT send your child to school or go to work if sick with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach ache or diarrhea.
  • Students may not return to school until 72 hours after their symptoms have stopped.
  • Parents who are sick should not return to work until 72 hours after symptoms have stopped.
  • All students and parents should wash their hands with warm soapy water or use hand sanitizers as soon as possible on entering the school building.
  • Any student that becomes sick in school will be sent home
  • Any ill student should not attend any extra-curricular activities, including sports, theatre, extended day or  Rec. Department activities
  • If any student or members of their household becomes sick with symptoms mentioned above, please call the school nurse or program director and report symptoms.
  • Please report the cause of your child’s absence when you call the school office to report them absent.

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