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Stomach bug keeps more than 100 students home in Douglas County

6:05 PM, Nov 9, 2012   |    comments
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DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. - For the third day in a row, a stomach virus has kept more than 100 Douglas County elementary school students at home.

One hundred-twenty-eight people were absent from South Douglas Elementary School on Friday, including three staff members.

"It's across all grade levels," said South Douglas Principal Casey Duffey. "It's across faculty, office staff, students, teachers. There's no commonality."

One kindergarten class that normally has 17 students was down to nine.

It's better than the situation on Wednesday, when 168 students school wide were out with the nasty bug.

"I feel okay," said second grader Cole Mauney. "I'm better than Tuesday. On Wednesday we had to go to the doctor."

Cole and his mother were out for one day due to the bug. Alicia Mauney is a second grade teacher at South Douglas Elementary. The illness swept through their school and their family. Mauney's fourth grader was the last to get it.

"She's thinking she's the lone survivor," said Mauney. "She quarantined herself in her room, washed her hands, then wakes up this morning and she's got it too."

Everything seemed fine at the school on Monday. Classes were out on Tuesday for elections. When classes resumed on Wednesday, many students were either calling in or went home sick.

"Some of the students had siblings that were sick that didn't go to South Douglas," said Duffey. "So, nothing in particular here at school. It's just widespread."

Health officials say they may never know exactly where the virus started. They do not suspect cafeteria food.

Rachel Franklin of the Cobb/Douglas Public Health Department says viruses like this are fairly common this time of year and can spread quickly, especially in settings like a school. The germs can live on surfaces for hours.

The school's custodial staff is now sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces as often as possible.

Administrators expect attendance will be back to normal by Monday.

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