Jarrow school closed due to suspected outbreak of norovirus

A school has been forced to close after a suspected outbreak of norovirus.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 10:15 am
Updated Friday, 15th November 2019, 12:15 pm

St Mary's RC Primary School, in Ayr Drive, Jarrow, posted on Facebook that the school was closed on Thursday November 14 and will remain closed on Friday November 15.

It said: “Due to a large number of staff and children absent with suspected norovirus, we have been advised to close school and nursery. Please arrange to have your child collected as soon as possible. We will keep you updated through texts and Facebook. Thank you.”

Head of School Anna Tumelty said the school is undergoing a deep clean and is expected to reopen on Monday, with a third of the school reportedly affected.

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St Mary's RC School. Picture c/o Google Streetview

She said: “We took the decision to close the school after speaking all week to Public Health England and following their advice.”

The decision to close the school was made by Executive Head Teacher Marie Graham. She said: “Numbers of children with a sickness bug has lead us to close the school due to a suspected outbreak of norovirus, whilst not confirmed as norovirus, protocols have been followed in consultation with Public Health and Leaders of the Trust.

“An industrial cleaning company have been enlisted to conduct a deep clean of all areas of the school and we will reopen on Monday.”

Norovirus, also called the "winter vomiting bug", is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about two days.

The NHS advises the main symptoms of norovirus are:

:: Feeling sick (nausea)

:: Diarrhoea

:: Being sick (vomiting)

You may also have:

:: A high temperature of 38C or above

:: A headache

:: Aching arms and legs

The symptoms start suddenly within one to two days of being infected.

The NHS advice is that you can usually treat yourself or your child at home, and you should start to feel better in a day or two.

“Stay off school or work until the symptoms have stopped for two days. Also avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time. This is when you're most infectious,” the NHS website reads.

Norovirus can spread very easily. You can catch norovirus from:

:: Close contact with someone with norovirus

:: Touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth

:: Eating food that's been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus

Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels don't kill norovirus.