A school in Poole has been hit with the symptoms of the highly contagious Norovirus infection. Poole Borough have confirmed that 90 children have been affected so far.
Canford Heath Middle School on Learoyd Road was struck by the symptoms earlier this week and is currently taking advice from the Health Protection Agency’s Dorset and Somerset Health Protection Unit.
The school, which caters for students from the ages of eight to twelve, is open as normal and extra cleaning measures are being carried out.
Sue Pelham, Executive Head teacher of Canford Heath Middle School said: “The vast majority of teaching staff and support assistants are still in school and a large number of children are in class and learning, as usual.”
“Parents can rest assured that everything possible is being done to ensure that this virus is eradicated and that the children’s health is our main priority.”
Dr Mark Salter, Consultant for the Health Protection Unit said: “Norovirus is a self-limiting illness which is rarely serious, although it does cause unpleasant symptoms for a few days. It’s not uncommon to see bugs like Norovirus spread quickly through close-knit communities.”
According to the NHS, the Norovirus, also known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ is the most common stomach bug in the UK. It is usually diagnosed when a patient has a sudden sick feeling followed by vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Other symptoms include a raised temperature, headaches, stomach cramps and aching limbs.
People showing signs of the virus are being advised to remain at home until they are symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
In a statement, Dr Adrian Dawson, Director of Public Health at NHS Bournemouth and Poole, warned that the virus is highly infectious but not life threatening.
“I urge people with vomiting and diarrhoea symptoms not to attend school or work to prevent Norovirus spreading. If you have persistent symptoms or find blood in your vomit or stool, seek medical advice immediately by telephoning your GP practice.”
Dr Dawson’s advice for keeping the virus under control is to focus on hand-washing.
“Good hand hygiene is very important to prevent this bug spreading, so please be particularly vigilant, especially after going to the toilet and before preparing food.”
For more information about the Norovirus check out the NHS website: www.nhs.uk