Hundreds of Augusta Ranch Elementary students get sick over possible norovirus outbreak

MESA, AZ - Hundreds of students were sent home from an east Mesa elementary school after a potential virus outbreak.

It happened Wednesday at Augusta Ranch Elementary in the Gilbert Public School District.

School officials said 207 students were sent home after they threw up or were thrown up on. Five adults were also sent home.

They also say parents called out 73 students before school on Wednesday.

According to school officials, the county health department asked for stool samples from a student, teacher and staff member.

Based on the tests, they believe the cause was the Norovirus. They said it’s highly contagious and spreads quickly. It usually lasts 24 to 48 hours.

Mom Shannon Federico-Smith said her younger daughter got sick Wednesday so she called her out of school.

Federico-Smith said her daughter was able to throw up for a few minutes and then go to sleep. And the she woke up and felt horrible and it continued all day.

She said she had no idea how big the problem was and that she’d never even heard of anything like this. "I'm flabbergasted," she said.

School officials say they notified parents of the issue. They advised parents that if their children were sick Wednesday, they should not go to school Thursday.

Thursday was the last day of school for Augusta Ranch.

To learn more about the Norovirus, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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