GENERIC: Stethoscope, medical

Another Mid-Michigan county is warning people about an increase in a gastrointestinal illness which causes mild to severe diarrhea.

The Genesee County Health Department released a statement Friday warning residents of the rise in cases.

"We would like to remind everyone that Genesee County normally experiences an increase in gastroenteritis illnesses this time of year, but we continue to watch this closely," the statement said.

Several Mid-Michigan schools this week have also been warning parents about a possible outbreak.

Bay City Academy closed Wednesday, Feb. 1 because of the amount of students and staff sick.

The school said they are working closely with the Bay County Health Department.Below is the letter posted to the school's website.

Two other Mid-Michigan school districts warned parents about the virus.

Bullock Creek School District and Bay City Public Schools sent a letter to parents to make them aware of a possible viral gastroenteritis outbreak among students at Bullock Creek High School and at the Western Complex in Bay City.

Several viruses can cause gastroenteritis, but norovirus is the most common. People can become infected through food, by person-to-person contact, or through contaminated surfaces.

"Therefore, take caution if one of your family members is affected because the virus spreads easily in the home as well," said the statement from Bullock Creek School District.

The letter from the Bay City District asked that children and staff exhibiting symptoms of gastroenteritis stay away from school and other group activities until 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped.

Norovirus is somethings called the "stomach flu" and can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping. The virus may also cause a low-grade fever, headache, weakness and muscle aches.

Symptoms usually last one to two days.

Both districts said the best way to limit the spread of the virus is frequent hand washing with soap and warm running water.

The districts said they are working closely with the Midland and Bay County Health Departments.

To read the full statement sent to Bullock Creek parents, click here. For the full statement sent to Bay City parents, click here.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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