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Orchard Park Middle School closed due to virus outbreak

Orchard Park Middle School

Orchard Park Middle School is closed today because of a virus outbreak. The closure includes weekend activities.Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said some 200 students came down with what is expected to be the gastrointestinal norovirus. "What we typically see this time of year is norovirus that causes diarrhea, vomiting, belly aches, gas. People might have a mild fever," Burstein said. "It's a very common GI bug that usually resolves in three to four days."

Burstein said norovirus is very contagious and is typical on cruise ships. She also noted the January outbreak at Longhorn Steakhouse in Cheektowaga that led to its closure for two days.

Closing Orchard Park Middle School will give officials an opportunity to clean and disinfect its building and school buses. However, Burstein said, given the virus is contagious a few days before symptoms appear, the closure may not stem spread of the disease.