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San Francisco high school closes amid flu outbreak [Updated]

A San Francisco Jesuit high school closed for the day Wednesday after 140 students became ill with the stomach flu. [Updated at 3:39 p.m.: School officials now say the count is up to 330 students and 30 faculty members sickened by what officials have deemed viral gastroenteritis.]

St. Ignatius College Preparatory, a  157-year-old school in the city’s Outer Sunset district, contacted the San Francisco Department of Public Health on Tuesday after 50 students called in sick and 90 more experiencing stomach flu symptoms were sent home. [Updated at 2:18 p.m.: School officials said the school will stay closed through Monday]

Public health officials “have advised us that it would appropriate to thoroughly sanitize and deeply clean the entire building,” Principal Patrick Ruff wrote in a letter posted on the school website.

The school plans to reopen Thursday, but Ruff urged parents to keep their sick children home “for at least 70 hours after vomiting has ceased or after his or her fever has abated.”

He also asked parents to encourage their kids to “adopt healthy habits to prevent all types of infection, especially washing hands often and refraining from touching eyes, nose or mouth and not sharing personal items.”

About 1,500 students attend St. Ignatius.

-- Lee Romney in San Francisco

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