Leiston Primary School urges parents to keep sick children at home after norovirus outbreak

A winter vomiting bug has struck at a Suffolk primary school.

Leiston Primary School is warning parents to keep sick children at home after pupils fell ill to the norovirus.

Six children were sent home from the school last week after a further 13 had been taken ill before the Christmas break.

In a statement, Cheryl Singleton, co-principal of Leiston, Easton and Wickham Market primary schools, said: Any child who fell ill at the end of last term was sent home from school and parents were advised that they should not return until there is at least 48 hours clear from all signs of illness.

“We use a private company for school cleaning which ensures that we always have the required number of cleaning staff and therefore that cleaning standards are maintained. At the end of each day and during the holidays the school was thoroughly cleaned.

“The school was closed for two weeks before opening again to pupils on January 5.

“We did not consider it appropriate to delay the start of term after the school had been closed for two weeks.

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“There have been a few cases of sickness this term in the school community and beyond and all procedures are being followed correctly

The school has rejected reports that as many as 150 pupils had been taken ill.

The outbreak comes after West Suffolk Hospital closed a ward following an outbreak of the virus, last week.

NHS tips to stop the spread of norovirus – also known as winter vomiting bug

- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food. - If you’re in an NHS facility, pay attention to hand hygiene notices such as using hand gel upon entering and leaving a ward. - Washing your hands with soap and water in between is better at preventing the spread of norovirus than gel alone.

- Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with norovirus using a bleach-based household cleaner. Always follow the instructions on the cleaning product.

- Flush away any infected faeces or vomit and keep the surrounding toilet area clean and hygienic.

- Wash any clothing or linen which could have become contaminated with a norovirus. Washing with hot, soapy water will help to ensure that the virus is killed.

- If you have norovirus, the best thing you can do is rest, and take plenty of non-caffeinated drinks to avoid dehydration. Do not visit your GP surgery or emergency department.

- You should recover naturally at home with no specific treatment, although over the counter medicines, such as rehydration powders and paracetamol, can help to alleviate symptoms.

- If you are worried about your symptoms you can ring NHS 111 or visit your local pharmacy. They will be able to provide advice, especially for those who are at greater risk of dehydration from diarrhoea and vomiting, such as children under the age of five or the elderly.

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