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Southampton Elementary School closed after student sickened with enterovirus, superintendent says

The Southampton Elementary School on Pine Street in

The Southampton Elementary School on Pine Street in Southampton, shown on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, will be closed Wednesday so the building can be disinfected after a student was recently diagnosed with enterovirus. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Southampton Elementary School will be disinfected and closed Wednesday after a student's illness was confirmed as an enterovirus case, the district's superintendent said in an alert Tuesday.

This enterovirus strain is not the D68 virus that has caused severe respiratory problems in many nationwide, Superintendent Scott Farina wrote to parents on the district's website.

The student was being treated Tuesday at a hospital, a district spokeswoman said.

After consulting with the district's physician, Farina wrote, the district decided to cut short any potential infection by hiring professionals to give the school a "thorough cleaning."

"The company will disinfect the entire building and apply an antibacterial product to further prevent the spread of germs," the superintendent said.

He said the school would reopen Thursday.

SaniTech Services, the Nesconset business doing the job, plans to start at 6 a.m. with up to 24 workers, said company founder Robert Madarasz.

They will take surface samples before and after spraying to look for viruses and bacteria, he said.

The disinfectant spray kills the viruses, he said, while an antimicrobial coating spray will prevent viral and bacterial growth for at least a year. Workers will focus on frequently touched areas, such as desks, restroom faucets and library book bindings, he said.

Non-polio enteroviruses are very common, causing about 10 million to 15 million infections per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms are usually mild, like the common cold, but the ones most likely to suffer complications, such as brain infection, are children, who have not yet developed immunity, the CDC said.

The EV-D68 strain has rarely been reported in the past. An outbreak this year has infected 691 people in 46 states since mid-August, the CDC said.

To prevent catching the enterovirus, experts suggest washing hands often with soap and water and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

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