61 students fall ill at Smiltene Secondary School in Latvia

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61 children in a Smiltene Secondary School building have fallen ill with an intestinal infection due to a virus, according to Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) Epidemiologist Rita Korotinska.

Currently SPKC tests show that the illness is due to an intestinal infection, or norovirus, which has a greater chance of spreading specifically during colder months. This sort of outbreak at an educational institution is nothing out of the ordinary, according to the SPKC.

"Food and surface area samples have been taken for analysis, but we still haven't recieved any answers. Additional disinfection was performed over the weekend, and parents have been informed on what to do in case of illness," said Vice-principal Inese Raiskuma.

The school's Principal Ilze Vergina says that children can return when they have received a doctor's note that they are healthy. A total of 314 children are taught in the building. The school has a long-standing cooperation with caterer "Draugs-SD", and Vergina says that there have been no previous food-related violations.

As previously reported, ten children from Sigulda were hospitalized in September, according to Disease Prevention and Control Center Representative Ilze Arāja. The main symptoms of the victims included severe diarrhea, renal impairment, and intestinal bleeding.

Children's Clinical University Hospital Spokesperson Vita Šteina confirmed that ten children from Sigulda were hospitalized. The Disease Prevention and Control Center suspected food poisoning.

Also reported, later in September after investigating the outbreak of intestinal infection in Sigulda, the Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) suspended operations of a vegetable processing plant in Jelgava. Jelgavas Augli plant plant operations were suspended due to serious violations of hygienic requirements.

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