SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / KCBS) — A San Francisco high school will now be closed through the weekend because of a stomach flu outbreak that has sickened dozens of students.

Officials at St. Ignatius College Preparatory said 325 students and 30 teachers have been made sick by what health experts are calling viral gastroenteritis — a virus that can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Principal Patrick Ruff initially announced that the school would close only on Wednesday to allow crews time to sanitize and deep-clean the building, but after consulting with health experts it was determined the building would remain closed until Monday to give the cleaning crews more time to work.

“We’re working with the school on cleanup,” San Francisco Department of Public Health spokeswoman Colleen Chawla said. “Given our advice, they didn’t think they could get it done overnight.”

Even once school reopens, Ruff urged students who are ill to remain home for at least three days after their symptoms stop.

He added that initial tests showed the school’s kitchen and water supply had been ruled out as possible sources for the infection.

The parochial school in the city’s Outer Sunset district enrolls 1,444 students.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

(Copyright 2012 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)

Comments (5)
  1. s.f. peaches says:

    When that many people who gather in the same place get sick at the same time, how can they be sure the cause is a virus?

    I’ve heard that there is a bad intestinal virus going around right now. However, if the number of ill people is really as high as the news article claims, the Public Health Dept. should investigate. We’ve heard about foodborne microbes making large groups sick all at once, and that’s a Health Dept. issue.

  2. Daniel Burns says:

    There is no such thing as stomach flu, its either a virus like Noral or food poising.
    or some other highly contagious virus

  3. Jerome Howard says:

    This is crazy! I just finished watching the movie “Contagion” so this is really tripping me out.

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