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Mysterious illness at Somerset Academy confirmed to be norovirus

Dozens of kids sick at North Las Vegas school
Posted at 7:48 PM, Apr 26, 2017

UPDATE ON MAY 3: Tests by the Southern Nevada Health District indicate that the mysterious illness spreading around Somerset Academy is norovirus.

Principal Jenny Martinez says fewer and fewer kids are sick, but it's not clearing up as fast as she'd like. Though the Health District is not forcing Somerset Academy to close, the school's administration stand by their choice to close their doors on Thursday and Friday.

Linda Verchick, Disease Surveillance Supervisor with the Health District, says they do not know where the virus started and may never find out. She also says they've seen smaller outbreaks like this at other schools.

Somerset Academy hired an outside company to do a medical-grade cleaning to help stop the spread.

UPDATE ON MAY 2: Somerset Academy in North Las Vegas is shutting down on Thursday and Friday due to a mysterious illness going around the school.

The school's principal says the decision to close the school for several days happened after a meeting with the school nurses and the Southern Nevada Health District. The decision was made with the intent of stopping the illness from spreading and to limit the number of families affected.

ORIGINAL STORY

Dozens of kids at a North Las Vegas grade school have been sick.

"It's hard to believe that many kids got sick," said Edward Grey, whose second-grade daughter was sick.

Jenny Martinez, principal at Somerset Academy Aliante, says 80 kids got sick in the last six days. She said there are half as many sick kids Wednesday as there were Tuesday, and that only 6 percent of the student body is affected.

13 Action News spoke with two people whose children got sick.

"They called me Friday, said she was throwing up and stuff, and then we came and got her, then she had to stay out of school," said Grey about his daughter.

Rocky Florio said his grandson caught the bug, and gave it to the rest of the family.

"My grandson got sick, came home, next day mom had to take him to the doctor, then I got it, then my wife got it, his mom, and now his father's sick," Florio said.

Martinez says they are working directly with the Southern Nevada Health District, and she calls them every few hours. She said their officials are working to test samples from affected kids, but don't yet know what exactly is floating around.

"If your kids are sick, leave them home," Florio said. "One day of school, they can make up the work, but you can't make up getting half your classroom sick."