32 Endeavour Elementary kindergarten students miss school with similar illness

Kindergarten students missed class Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, at Endeavour Elementary in Bakersfield, Calif., all complaining of similar flu-like symptoms. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Nearly three dozen students at Endeavour Elementary School in Bakersfield missed class Thursday due to illness, while reporting similar flu-like symptoms.

Kern County Public Health Director Matt Constantine said Thursday afternoon that the symptoms, location and timing of the illnesses suggest a norovirus, but that's not an official diagnosis. Though highly contagious, a norovirus is common during the winter, and symptoms don't generally persist longer than a couple days.

He suggested those at school wash their hands more frequently.

Dr. Mary Westendorf, superintendent of the Fruitvale School District, said 32 kindergarten students missed class with the illness.

School officials have ruled out the cafeteria as the source of the problem and have conducted an aggressive cleaning effort in the kindergarten areas of the school.

An afterschool kindergarten tutoring program was suspended for the day out of an abundance of caution. It will likely resume Friday, Westendorf said.

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