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Gales Creek school closed after half the staff sickened by flu-like symptoms – OregonLive

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A school in Gales Creek closed Wednesday after nearly half of the school’s teachers were absent with flu-like symptoms.

As first reported by the Gales Creek Journal, Oak Grove Academy, which is housed in the Gales Creek School, was closed after 11 staff members called in sick. The school will also be closed Thursday, but Forest Grove School District staff said the school will likely be reopened Friday.

The Forest Grove School District is the third district in the last several weeks that has had illness outbreaks. Last week, Sweet Home School District had one confirmed case of norovirus. According to the school district’s Facebook page, several other students were absent from school with stomach flu or fever. The district didn’t close school but had classrooms and buses cleaned before, during and after school, according to the Facebook post.

Three weeks ago, Greater Albany Public Schools suspended classes for the three days before Thanksgiving after an outbreak of norovirus at the district’s Periwinkle Elementary School, and many students falling ill at the other schools, too.

Norovirus is contagious, and tips to prevent it include washing hands frequently with soap and warm water for 15 to 20 seconds, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth to prevent the spread of germs, limiting contact with sick people and disinfecting all surfaces that may have germs with bleach-based cleaners.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common symptoms of norovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain, fever, headache and bodyache.

—Jayati Ramakrishnan; 503-221-4320; jramakrishnan@oregonian.com; @JRamakrishnanOR

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