Rapidly spreading virus closes Alabama school, has others on alert

Published 9:12 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

A highly contagious gastrointestinal virus is quickly spreading through an Alabama community leading to hundreds of school absences and forcing schools to close and even churches to modify their plans.

Alabama state health officials confirmed they are helping to investigate the exact cause of the outbreak which many believe to be likely a norovirus.

School officials in Baldwin County have closed one elementary school, Fairhope West Elementary, and put another on notice in hopes to trying to stop the rapidly spreading virus.

Fairhope West will be closed until Monday, school officials said. Nearly 800 students were absent Wednesday. Officials said not all of those students are believed to be ill, but some simply avoided school to avoid becoming ill.

First Baptist Church of Fairhope announced on social media that it canceled all of the church’s normal Wednesday night preschool, children and students activities due to the virus.

Alabama Department of Public Health officials confirmed they were investigating a “gastrointestinal outbreak” at Fairhope West.

People who are becoming ill are exhibiting nausea and vomiting.