Stomach bug sickens dozens at Richardson High School - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Stomach bug sickens dozens at Richardson High School

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RICHARDSON, Texas -

The Dallas County Health Department is investigating what is making kids sick at Richardson High School.

The school said it notified health officials after an unusually high number of students left school Thursday complaining of a stomachache.

RISD spokesman Tim Clark said at least 70 students and four staff members were sent home with nausea, stomach cramps or diarrhea.

"We did have a couple of students at Richardson High School that vomited yesterday in the hallway," said Clark.

Friday, parents packed the school's parking lot to pick up their sick kids.

Hundreds of students turned to Twitter and #RHSPlague to report either they or someone they know was feeling sick.

Health officials believe they have eliminated the possibility of a food-borne illness. They now suspect it's just a viral bug going around because the cases aren't isolated to the school.

Clark said the district stepped up the cleaning and disinfecting rotations on campus.

"We're making sure the high contact, high trafficked surface areas are cleaned more regularly than they were…and they were already being stepped up because this is flu season," he said.

The principal also sent a phone message to parents. He encouraged students to sanitize or wash their hands frequently and to stay home if they have symptoms.

The highly contagious norovirus has been in the news recently after nearly 700 people became ill on a Royal Caribbean cruise out of New Jersey. A Princess Cruise ship returned to Houston Friday with at least 170 sick people on board.

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