By J.D. Miles

COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Nearly half of the students at one North Texas elementary school were out sick today.

An illness started spreading through Carroll Elementary in Frisco on Tuesday, and today 330 of the 700 students were absent.

Health officials say the culprit seems to be a “standard stomach bug.”

“Yesterday we had quite a large number of students out sick. So, we communicated to all the parents that we do have this virus being passed around,” school principal Melissa Longfellow said. “It seems to be a less than 24 hour virus but quite contagious and so a lot parents have chosen to keep their kids home today just as a precaution.”

Symptoms of the virus include nausea and diarrhea, but Sarah McKinney of the Denton County Health Department, said most sufferers are back to normal within two days.

But principal Longfellow admitted two days can seem like forever to the little ones.

“It’s really hard to see our sweet kids feeling so yucky and so we’re looking forward to everyone having the weekend to get over this so that we can all be back together on Monday,” she said.

For days now, the Carroll staff has been busy taking extra steps to prevent the spread of the virus and there will be additional cleaning at the school Saturday and Sunday.

“We’re bringing in extra cleaning crews,” Longfellow said. “We had them out Wednesday night, last night and then they’re going to steam clean and disinfect all carpets and surface areas this weekend.”

Sarah McKinney said if parents are concerned their child has brought the ‘bug’ home they should –

♦  Practice good hand washing skills
♦  Wipe down surfaces with bleach cleaner
♦  Keep kids home when they’re sick
♦  Call a doctor when you have health concerns