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Stomach Flu Outbreak Forces SF School To Close Wednesday

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A maintenance worker at Saint Ignatius College Preparatory cleans the campus after nearly 200 students came down with the stomach flu on January 31, 2012. (CBS)

A maintenance worker at Saint Ignatius College Preparatory cleans the campus after nearly 200 students came down with the stomach flu on January 31, 2012. (CBS)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — Saint Ignatius College Preparatory will be closed Wednesday for cleaning after nearly 200 students came down with the stomach flu.

Around 150 students were sent home Tuesday from the school after they became ill with gastroenteritis, according to Principal Patrick Ruff. 50 students also called in sick Tuesday.

“You would walk by the dean’s office and there would be kids just lined up to go home,” said student Charlie Goldensohn.

According to parents, a player on the girls’ basketball team became sick during a game Tuesday night.

“With the number of students about 200, we thought it was wise to close the school so we can do a through and deep cleaning of all the surfaces,” Ruff said.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Brent McDonald, who has two children attending St. Ignatius, said his whole family caught the bug and thinks he might be next.

“I’ve eaten once today, and I feel like I’ve got a knot in my stomach,” McDonald said. “I’ve had two half bowls of rice.”

School will resume on Thursday February 2nd.

According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health and school officials, the bug typically lasts 24 hours. A statement on the school’s website advised parents to keep children with symptoms at home for at least 72 hours after vomiting or diarrhea has ceased or their fever has abated.

The origin of the outbreak is under investigation, but food from the school cafeteria has been ruled out as a cause.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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