Virus spreading at Atwater elementary schools? Officials report concerning symptoms

Several students and staff members from Aileen Colburn Elementary School reported stomachaches, vomiting and fever, raising concerns of a possible norovirus outbreak, county health officials said.

The Merced County Department of Public Health released a Health Advisory Wednesday, informing the public of increased gastrointestinal illness in the Atwater Elementary School District.

Officials said reports of vomiting and nausea have also been reported at other schools within the Atwater Elementary School District.

Norovirus infection in Atwater has not been confirmed by health officials. Authorities said the warning was issued as a precaution.

Officials recommend staying away from work or school while recovering as infections can remain contagious up to 48 hours after symptoms disappear.