WEST NEWBURY, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Over 400 Pentucket Regional High School students stayed home from school on Friday after an outbreak of norovirus.
School officials tell FOX 25 that 428 students were absent and 48 were dismissed from school on Friday. Only 48-percent of the student population was in school.
The large number of absences come one day after 140 students visited the school nurse with the illness. That is about 20-percent of the student population.
Principal Jonathan Seymour posted a letter on the school's website Thursday, saying that the school nurse contacted the Mass. Department of Public Health due to the large number of students impacted by the illness.
Crews worked into the night to disinfect the school. Athletic events scheduled for Thursday were postponed as a result of the disinfecting process. The girls' track team was on their way to the Div-3 state meet when they were turned around because of the outbreak.
Officials asked all parents to keep their children home if they exhibit symptoms of norovirus.
Athletic events will take place on Friday night as planned.
So far, there have been no similar outbreaks at any other schools in the district.
For more on the norovirus: http://www.cdc.gov/features/norovirus/