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Health Dep't confirms outbreak of respiratory illness

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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Department of Health is confirming a Lee County outbreak of adenovirus, a highly contagious respiratory illness that commonly causes cold-like symptoms, pneumonia, sore throat and diarrhea.

The News-Press reports ( medical privacy rules prevent the department from saying where the outbreak took place. But St. Andrew's Catholic School in Cape Coral sent home a letter to parents Thursday warning of the outbreak.

In the letter, the school's principal said the school had hired a cleaning service to sanitize the school and is otherwise discouraging the spread of the virus.

An "outbreak" is defined as two or more confirmed cases of a disease within a given geographical area or, in this case, building.

Health officials say adenovirus rarely causes serious illness.

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