Illness closes Ketchikan school

Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2003

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A rapid outbreak of gastrointestinal illness among students and staff members brought Holy Name Catholic School to an early close Friday.

The Rev. Patrick Travers, pastor of Holy Name Catholic Church, said school closed at 11 a.m. and most students had left by noon.

The outbreak began Thursday and accelerated that afternoon, he said.

After school ended, a cleaning service used a solution designed to combat Norwalk-like viruses to disinfect the school rooms, especially tabletops and floors, Travers said.

On Friday, only 38 of the school's 114 students attended school, Travers said. Several staff members also stayed home. Just about all the cases seemed to be the same illness, he said.

State health officials requested that students and staff members who had the symptoms not return to the school until 72 hours after their symptoms had subsided.

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