The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) and The NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN) are partnering to promote NEA HIN's The Stomach Bug Book - What School Employees Need to Know.

Schools across the country are susceptible to the spread of stomach illnesses. The Stomach Bug book, a pocket size manual for school employees, explains what educators need to know in order to minimize health risks from fast-spreading stomach illnesses such as norovirus. The booklet breaks down complex information in a quick and easy to use format.

The Stomach Bug Book (also available in Spanish) can be ordered free of charge in any quantity through the NEAHIN website. It is also available for download in English or in Spanish.

Stomach illnesses - such as norovirus - can spread from a variety of sources, including an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by contact with contaminated surfaces.  The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year, norovirus causes about 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths, mostly among young children and older adults. Each year, it costs about $2 billion in the United States for healthcare and lost productivity from food borne illness caused by norovirus.  

By providing tools and resources for everyone to learn, The Stomach Bug Book teaches us to prevent the spread of stomach illnesses.   

"The Stomach Bug Book provides vital cleaning and hygiene tips to share with co-workers, family, and the school community," said Allen Rathey, President of HFI. "Due to the quality and utility of this info, we are committed to raising awareness of the availability of this important knowledge tool from NEA HIN."

"It is important that students, teachers, and school personnel, such as custodians, food service workers, bus drivers, and school nurses, understand the importance of hand washing and cleaning during a norovirus - or other - outbreak" said Jerald L. Newberry, Executive Director of NEA HIN. "We are delighted to work with The Healthy Facilities Institute to spotlight NEA HIN resources, including The Stomach Bug Book, to help prevent the spread of these common contagious illnesses in schools and surrounding communities."