Widespread illness leads to Franklin school closure

CREATED May 16, 2013 - UPDATED: May 17, 2013

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FRANKLIN - Students and teachers at Pleasant View Elementary are being asked to stay home Friday.

Administrators cancelled classes after more than 50 students developed gastroenteritis, also known as the "stomach flu."

They say students have been vomiting while also suffering from diarrhea.

The massive number of absences and kids going home Thursday prompted the school system to cancel school.

"They basically said that they're kind of cleaning through the school and figure out what's going on," said Tammy Tobin, whose 7-year old has the illness.

The Franklin Health Department is looking into a cause, while custodians disinfect the school.

Parents describe a sudden onset of the illness in their children. Franklin pediatrician Sanjeev Shukla believes the fast development of vomiting and diarrhea suggests a specific type of illness.

"To me, it's either a viral infection or some kind of food poisoning, but the tests will have to be done to exactly come up with a diagnosis," Shukla said.

The school system does not know if food poisining is the culprit. A spokeswoman tells TODAY'S TMJ4 an investigation is ongoing.

Doctors say symptoms of gastroenteritis can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and low grade fever.