Two Leeds schools closed after 'norovirus' outbreak

Two Leeds schools have closed after large numbers of staff and pupils fell ill with a norovirus-like bug.

Thursday, 28th November 2019, 8:47 am
Updated Thursday, 28th November 2019, 8:48 am

Leeds East Academy in Seacroft is closed today, Thursday November 28 and tomorrow, Friday 29.

Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, can spread quickly in hospitals and schools because people are in close quarters and children can forget to practice good hygiene.

The main symptoms are feeling sick, being sick and diarrhoea and the bug usually goes away in around two days.

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Leeds East Academy, Seacroft.

A statement on the school's website read: "Since the start of the week, Leeds East Academy has experienced an increasing number of staff and students who have been affected by symptoms similar to those of the norovirus.

"Throughout today, the number of staff and students being affected by these symptoms has increased to a level, where the appropriate course of action is to close the academy to all staff and students for the next two days.

"We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience that this decision may cause to our community.

"This decision has not been taken lightly but as our school community will know, our first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.

"Since the start of the week, the brilliant cleaning team at the academy have been implementing an enhanced cleaning regime across the school and this will continue to take place while the academy is closed."

The school is set to reopen on Monday, but parents are asked to keep an eye on the school's social media accounts and website for further updates.

Text messages will also be sent out if anything changes.

Following advice from the Health Protection Agency, neighbouring school Parklands Primary has also been forced to close due to the number of students and staff becoming unwell over the last 48 hours.

It is unclear when the school will reopen.

Around 50 pupils had to take days off at Holy Name Catholic Voluntary Academy in Cookridge last week due to the outbreak of a flu-like virus, but the school did not close.

The issue has affected schools and hospitals across the country over the past week, including Howden School in East Yorkshire.

Burley Oaks Primary School in Burley-in-Wharfedale also closed last week.

Parkside School in Cullingworth, Bradford, closed this week after a 'serious outbreak of norovirus' affected more than 15 per cent of its school population.

NHS advice on how to treat diarrhoea and vomiting:

Do

stay at home and get plenty of rest

drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash – take small sips if you feel sick

carry on breast or bottle feeding your baby – if they're being sick, try giving small feeds more often than usual

give babies on formula or solid foods small sips of water between feeds

eat when you feel able to – you don't need to eat or avoid any specific foods

take paracetamol if you're in discomfort – check the leaflet before giving it to your child

Don't

do not have fruit juice or fizzy drinks – they can make diarrhoea worse

do not make baby formula weaker – use it at its usual strength

do not give children under 12 medicine to stop diarrhoea

do not give aspirin to children under 16

Stay off school or work until the symptoms have stopped for two days. Also avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time.