More than 100 Poway High School students go home sick from school

Norovirus could be to blame

POWAY, Calif. - More than 100 students at Poway High School have become violently sick and have had to go home in the last week.

Corinne Green, who is a 10News employee, said her son Tyler is one of those students.

"He had thrown up all night since I had left for a couple hours and then during the night, he threw up a few more times," she said. "In his class of 40, he had 11 show up that day for class. The rest were sick."

About 12 hours after exposure, the norovirus attacks with a vengeance.

Poway High School Principal Ron Garrett told 10News, "Anytime a student is sick it's a concern."

Despite what sounds like a high number of students becoming sick, Garrett said with more than 2,300 students, it does not reach the level of an emergency.

"So when the health department calls us, then we know this is something we're going to have to take special action for … notify the community," he said.

However, Green's family pediatrician told her the norovirus is definitely going around.

"She's had multiple patients with this stomach bug. She called it the norovirus. She initially thought it was food poisoning," Green said.

The norovirus is notorious on cruise ships. This week, 600 people were sickened by it on a Royal Caribbean ship.

"I thought it was something that you only got on cruise ships," said Green.

The San Diego County Health Department said the stomach flu is more common on land than many think. Last year, there were 659 cases in the county. The year before that, there were 828.

As for Tyler, his mom said, "He's back to school, everything is normal. He was upset because he lost a few pounds and he's trying to gain weight for football, so he was really mad about that." 

Poway High did not clean or disinfect the school because administrators did not know for sure what was making students sick. A lab test is needed to confirm the norovirus.

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