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Mar 7, 2013 1:12 PM by Tania Shofron

Classes cancelled when 60% of students and staff get sick

BRIDPORT, Vt. - Classes at a Vermont elementary school have been cancelled for the rest of the week after about 80 of their 130 students and staff got sick.

The Vermont Health Department is investigating and testing samples from those infected at Bridport Central School, which teaches preschool through 6th grade students. The illnesses were first reported on Wednesday and the district canceled all classes on Thursday and Friday so the building could be sanitized.

Symptoms included diarrhea and vomiting. Bradley Tompkins, an infectious disease epidemiologist told WCAX-TV these symptoms could be caused by the Norovirus, also known as the stomach flu. "This is certainly the environment where Norovirus can easily spread where there are children and a lot of touching of objects."

Corey Pratt, owner of Pratt's Store near the the school said his wife and 11-year-old daughter were both sick. "To have that many in such a short period of time is scary and hopefully they can figure out what the problem is," he said.

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