‘Norovirus outbreak’ closes school after 800 students call in sick


 A school has closed after a norovirus outbreak infected hundreds of students causing half of its pupils to call in sick  The highly infectious bug is known as the ‘winter bug’ and causes sickness and diarrhoea   Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College closed for the rest of the week because attendance has halved as a result of the illness, Belfast Live reports  The school revealed their decision to shut for the rest of the week on the school website today as half of their 1,600 pupils are off sick  Principal Matthew Pitts said: “Like any principal we don’t want to close but we have to and the parents have been very supportive  “We are probably the biggest school in Northern Ireland – we have got 1,600 children and 800 of them are off sick  “I think most schools are struggling – we have had to cancel two sports fixtures today and one was with a school in Belfast  “I spoke to another principal and we were saying we have not seen anything like this in 10 years ”  A statement Mr Pitts posted on the school website earlier today reads: “Despite our best efforts and good intentions, we are unable to remain open this week Our attendance has dropped to around 50% and we are still having to send a significant number of children home ”  The school is urging parents not to send children back to school before waiting 48 hours to ensure their child is free of the virus  Several schools across Northern Ireland also had to close for deep cleans after the norovirus broke out  The Education Authority confirmed yesterday they had been made aware of four closures, but many more schools are reported to have been affected  The closures in Northern Ireland have caused students to miss exams and one primary school has cancelled its school pantomime  Around a quarter of the 360 pupils at Clandeboye Primary, in Bangor, were also off sick yesterday prompting the school to close today  Headteacher Julie Thomas told the BBC it was an “unprecedented outbreak” and they were trying as hard as they can to stem the infection  Killinchy Primary School in the northeast of Ireland, in County Down, was closed after it was hit with two flu-type illnesses running simultaneously  Headmaster Christopher Currie told the Irish Mirror: “We have two types of illnesses running parallel, the flu-type illness and the vomiting norovirus The two things side-by-side are wiping us out.  “It’s very frustrating that parents will send their children back to school despite the guidance we have given to please exclude for 48hours – we had kids in school who we know were sick last night and their parents sent them back this morning ”  Several other schools across the UK raised the alarm after high numbers of staff and students caught the superbug  Leeds East Academy in Seacroft concluded today the only appropriate measure was to close the school  Following advice from the Health Protection Agency, neighbouring school Parklands Primary was also been forced to close due to the number of students and staff becoming unwell over the last 48 hours, Yorkshire Evening Post reported  Meanwhile, Parkside school in Bradford closed on Tuesday for cleaners to wash away the bug after more than 15 per cent of its pupils and staff were struck down  One of the longer school closures was at Howden School in Goole, East Yorkshire, which closed on Monday and told its students not to return until Thursday  In North East of England, Burnopfield Primary School, Newton Hall Infants’ School and Durham Blue Coat Junior School in County Durham have had closures  Hospitals were also hard-hit with closures in Devon, Warwickshire and Swansea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *