Illness that sickened Farmington Elementary students can be serious

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GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — Hundreds of students called out sick at Farmington Elementary school this week after they all came down with the stomach flu.

Since the discovery, cleaning crews have disinfected to make it safe for students. Several students returned to school at Farmington on Friday, after the district discussed whether or not to close school.

But how serious is this illness and what happens when hundreds all get sick at once?

"The virus can be very severe, the norovirus, which causes the stomach flu. It causes a number of illnesses about 20 million illnesses each year," said Dr. Manoj Jain.

"The things that the school is doing such as making sure the school is clean, those are important measures."

With such a large number of students affected, the question came up as to how so many people all got sick at once, and what could've caused this huge outburst in numbers.

Jain says getting the virus is simple, breaking it down into three ways it can be transmitted.

"Person to person, so if you're touching another person. The other way is by food or water, and the other way is by touching surfaces that someone else has touched."

He says there are no specific treatments for the virus, so the most important thing to do is wash your hands consistently.

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