Vomiting bug gives Preston school an early dart

Longsands Community Primary School
Longsands Community Primary School
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  • Norovirus outbreak forces early closure of Preston school
  • The virus which spreads quickly has affected more than half of one class
  • Health chiefs are investigating the spread of illness
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An outbreak of a sickness bug has forced the closure of a Preston school.

Longsands Primary in Fulwood started the Easter break a day early after suspected cases of Norovirus - known as winter vomiting disease - threatened to spread through the school.

As we’re about to start our Easter break, this will effectively stop the cycle of re-infection that can easily happen between small children.

More than half the pupils in one class at the 206-pupil school, are believed to have contracted the illness, which spreads quickly, especially among young children and the elderly.

Public health officials have been contacted as it is a notifiable disease but cannot confirm the cause of the illness.

Headteacher at the Longsands Lane school Paul Seagraves said: “We are closing for Easter a day early following a suspected outbreak of the norovirus.

“A number of the children have exhibited symptoms associated with the virus so, in accordance with standard procedures and advice from Public Health England, I am closing the school and am arranging for the school to be ‘deep cleaned’.

“As we’re about to start our Easter break, this will effectively stop the cycle of re-infection that can easily happen between small children.”

Public Health England, Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council are all investigating cases of vomiting among some pupils.

Investigations are on-going into the cause of the outbreak and in line with national guidelines affected children were asked to stay away from school for 48 hours after the onset of their last bout of vomiting.

Dr. Nicola Schinaia, Consultant at Cumbria and Lancashire’s PHE Centre, said: “Cases of diarrhoea and/or vomiting can spread quickly particularly among young children. The illness is usually spread from person to person. People who have symptoms should stay away from work or school until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.“

She added: Good personal hygiene prevents person to person spread of infection.”