ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- An Alexandria, Va. elementary school will be closed Friday due to a widespread stomach virus among students and staff, the school system announced Thursday.
Nearly 200 students and more than 30 staff members at John Adams Elementary School have developed a stomach illness in the past two days, according to a news release. The majority of illnesses were reported Thursday.
Additionally, 50 students who exhibited symptoms of the illness in school were sent home.
The building will be closed in order to clean and disinfect all shared surfaces and protect healthy students and staff from contracting this illness. It will remain closed throughout the weekend to be thoroughly disinfected.
School is expected to be open on Monday.
According to the Alexandria Health Department, many viruses and some bacteria can cause stomach illness, or "gastroenteritis." The most likely cause in this case is a virus called "norovirus." Symptoms usually get better in two days.
This type of illness is usually highly contagious through contact with an infected person or through contact with contaminated food or objects.
The health department recommends that parents make sure their child washes his or her hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If your child develops vomiting or diarrhea, please keep your child home for 24 hours after the symptoms stop before sending your child back to school.