October 25, 2005
Local news briefs

PORTLAND – A highly communicable norovirus has been blamed for an illness that affected 180 students at Portland Middle School about three weeks ago.

Ionia County Health Department officials say the students most likely contracted the illness during a student dance Sept. 28. The students were healthy enough to return to class the next week.

According to the Ionia County Health Department, norovirus causes an infection characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. The illness typically begins suddenly and lasts only one or two days. Norovirus is not known to have any long-term health effects.