Illness sweeps through Mass. high school

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February 14, 2013, 10:36 pm
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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, West Newbury, Mass.) - It was a bad scene inside the Pentucket Regional High School Thursday as some sort of gastrointestinal illness quickly spread.

School officials are not sure if it is Norovirus, but in addition to sick kids, there was one truly disappointed team.

"A couple of times someone almost threw up in the classroom. I knew in the nurses office there was anywhere from between 25 and 30 people at one time," said senior Marisa Lundy

Custodians from around the district, with masks over their faces, stayed late to disinfect Pentucket Regional High School in West Newbury, Mass. Thursday night.

After a scene that played out again and again inside. A stomach bug that spread quickly through the school.

"At the end of the day we had like 140 students, so a pretty substantial number of kids who had become ill who were dismissed," said Superintendent Dr. Jeff Mulqueen, who told us that's about 20 percent of all students, though no one was hospitalized.

Still, following the recommendations of the Mass. Department of Public Health, the school postponed all after school sports.

Unlike basketball games that can be rescheduled, for the girls indoor track team, it means they couldn't compete in states at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.

None of the girls were sick, and for some, it was supposed to be the last meet of their high school career.

"Realizing I didn't get to run, it was sad. I'm a senior, it was like my last state's meet. I can't go back," Lundy said.

"We were 15-20 minutes away from Reggie and the bus pulled over into a random parking lot because the bus driver actually got ordered to turn around. And so my coach asked is there was any way we could pause for a second so he could talk to somebody. But the bus driver says, no he has his orders, we were heading back," said junior Ali Attenasio.

"Just realizing, I'm not going to be able to run after all my hard work, it was upsetting," said sophomore Brianna Repke.

But this team, even seniors, remained upbeat despite the disappointment.

"It was kind of a bummer, but we made the most of it. We came back here and did our own little states and we ran around the halls and stuff. It was fun," said senior Victoria Spofford.

Again, school is back in session Friday, although anyone sick is asked not to come in.

Tags: massachusetts, Josh Brogadir, West Newbury, Pentucket Regional High School, gastrointestinal illness
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