Stomach virus hits Staten Island school

December 15, 2009 3:21:36 PM PST
For a second day in a row, attendance at Staten Island's PS3 was down, way down, courtesy of a fast spreading virus. "This virus comes in like a blast and goes out really fast," said school nurse Veronica Kenavan.

Nearly a fourth of the school's more than 900 students have been out of class over the last two days, many suffering from a stomach ailment caused by what the Department of Education calls a Norovirus.

"To me it was a stomach virus. He woke up Saturday morning and vomited during the night," said Lisa Jakowitz.

Jakowitz says her 5th grade son also had a fever, though he was back in class Tuesday.

School administrators are taking steps to alleviate parents' fears. A letter has been sent home to explain the virus and how it spreads. And classrooms have been thoroughly disinfected.

"We sanitized the school extra. Normally, we do it daily anyway, but there was more precautionary measures taken," adds Kenavan.

Several parents told Eyewitness News they believe the school has taken all the right precautions.

And while some have kept their children home just in case, not Andrea Appicea. She insists she's not worried about the health of her pre-K 4-year-old, Samantha.

"They get sick you know. What are you gonna do? Kids get sick. They fall. They get hurt. It's kids being kids," said Appicea.