contagion.jpgAt least three athletic events involving St. Ignatius College Preparatory teams have been postponed following the closure of the school because of an outbreak of the stomach flu, West Catholic Athletic League officials said.

A boys’ basketball game between St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory that was scheduled for today at 7:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart has been postponed until Monday, WCAL commissioner Ed Ravenscroft said.

The only game that was scheduled on the St. Ignatius campus today was a boys’ soccer game against Junipero Serra High. That game has been moved to Thursday at 3:15 p.m., said Kevin Donahue, the league’s sports information director.

A third game, a girls’ basketball game between St. Ignatius and St. Francis High School scheduled for Thursday in Mountain View, has also been put on hold, according to the school’s website.

The school’s girls’ soccer team is scheduled to play at Notre Dame High School-Belmont at 3:15 p.m. today but it is not clear whether that game is being postponed.

St. Ignatius sent home more than 90 students on Tuesday after they became ill at school. About 50 students had already called in sick that day, principal Patrick Ruff wrote in a letter to parents posted on the school’s website.

Ruff said the school has been in contact with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, which advised school officials to sanitize the entire building.

Extra cleaning crews have been called in, and the school has been closed for the day, Ruff said. All campus events have been canceled.

Classes and campus activities are expected to resume Thursday.

The letter advised parents with sick children who may be suffering from the stomach flu to keep their children at home for at least 72 hours after fevers have lowered and vomiting or diarrhea has stopped.

San Francisco Department of Public Health spokeswoman Colleen Chawla said city health officials have been advising St. Ignatius on the care of sick children and how to best sanitize the school.

“We’re working with the school on cleanup,” she said. “Given our advice, they didn’t think they could get it done overnight.”

Chowla said the cleanup will be extensive because of the various surfaces that have to be cleansed, including carpets.

She said the illness is believed to be viral gastroenteritis.

The school’s website listed 1,444 students enrolled at St. Ignatius, with approximately two-thirds of the student body involved in school-sponsored athletics.

Zack Farmer/Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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