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Sick bug closes school

PUBLISHED: 13:33 24 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:05 03 July 2010

A GREAT Yarmouth school today closed a day early for half-term after an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug struck down nearly 25pc of its pupils.

The headteacher of Cobholm Primary School, Julie Risby, took the decision to close yesterday as the number of pupils hit continued to grow and staff became infected as well.

A GREAT Yarmouth school today closed a day early for half-term after an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug struck down nearly 25pc of its pupils.

The headteacher of Cobholm Primary School, Julie Risby, took the decision to close yesterday as the number of pupils hit continued to grow and staff became infected as well.

She said: “I have been in touch with the borough council's environmental health department every day of the outbreak and following their guidance on bleach cleaning.

“But yesterday I made the decision to close because so many children were being sick in the school and we were having to send them home. I had to think about the children who were not ill as well.”

Mrs Risby said she knew of one case where a pupil had become infected for a second time after returning to school.

“We will continue with deep cleaning over half term and hope that clears it out,” she said.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said that a number of schools in the east of the county had been affected by the bug, also known for infecting hospital wards, but Cobholm had been the only one forced to close.

She said the council had been issuing advice to headteachers about liaising with their environmental health departments and the need to promote hand hygiene to stop the spread.

Some schools had sent letters home advising parents not to send children back until 72 hours after they had recovered.

Health chiefs have reported an autumn upsurge in cases of the bug, also known as norovirus, across East Anglia and stressed that good hygiene - including hand-washing - was the key to preventing infection.

If the illness persists for more than a few days people should phone their GP - avoiding attending the surgery unless advised to do so by the doctor - or call NHS Direct for advice.

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