About 130 children were out sick for two days this past week at a northwest Indiana elementary school, and district officials said that Norovirus was most likely to blame. “Twenty-seven percent of our population is significant, and it’s a concern,” Lake Central School Corporation Assistant Superintendent Al Gandolfi said about Peifer Elementary School in Schererville, IL. The school was being thoroughly cleaned and sanitized by a a large custodial crew. “We were here into the late evening. We disinfected everything that a child touches, from a keyboard, to a doorknob, to every lunch table, to desks, to chairs,” Gandolfi said. Officials believe that Norovirus may have spread from a child or teacher who came to school sick. The best way to prevent spreading the virus is to wash your hands vigorously with soap and water, they said. Contaminated food or beverages at the school were initially suspected as the source since all those sickened had symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and fever. However, a check of lunch records showed that 39 percent of those who called in sick hadn’t eaten or drank anything from the school the previous day. While officials with the Lake County Department of Public Health did not confirm that the illnesses came from Norovirus, they did say that the infections were not Enterovirus D68. Norovirus affects the gastrointestinal system and Enterovirus affected both respiratory and GI systems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Oct. 10, there were currently 691 people from 46 states and Washington, D.C., confirmed with respiratory illnesses caused by D68. Norovirus easily spreads from person to person via contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated food. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Most people recover within one to three days.