“If your child has been sick or is suffering from any such symptoms please keep them off school for 48 hours” scrolls across the website of the New Milton Junior School in Hampshire, England today as a norovirus outbreak that began last week continues to keep children out of school suffering from the gastrointestinal virus.
On Friday there were 60 pupils off sick and the illness was reported to Public Health England where a spokesman said it was believed to be norovirus.
A statement released on Friday by headteacher Kelvin Geary read: “I can confirm that a number of pupils are absent from school today, with parents reporting to us that the children are unwell.”
School staff has been performing recommended deep-cleaning each school day, beginning and end. In addition, supervised handwashing has been implemented in an effort to bring this outbreak to a close.
Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.
The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills,headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.
Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.