Flu-like illness leaves 60 pupils out of school

PUBLISHED: 14:15 19 November 2019

Backwell junior school.

Backwell junior school.

Archant

Dozens of pupils are out of class after reports of a flu-like illness sweeping through a primary school.

Around 60 students from Backwell Junior School are battling bouts of the illness.

Parents have been advised by Public Health England (PHE) to keep their children at home if they have symptoms of influenza.

Testing is also underway to confirm if the illness affecting pupils is flu, while the school building has undergone a 'deep clean'.

Headteacher Nick Webster said: "Unfortunately, we have a number of pupils currently off school with flu-like symptoms. We hope they are feeling better soon.

"Since the illness was first reported, the school's vaccination session has been bought forward to protect the school population and a deep clean of the school has also taken place.

"School nurses have also been available to give advice and information."

Dominic Mellon, consultant in health protection at PHE South West, said: "We are working with the school and have provided information to parents on infection control measures and advice about exclusion.

"Infections, including flu, can be prevented by following good hygiene such as hand washing and following the 'catch it, bin it, kill it' advice."

A PHE spokesman added: "Symptoms of flu include cough, heavy cold symptoms, sore throat and fever.

"Flu is generally not a serious illness and most people who have flu make a quick recovery at home. However, it can cause serious illness in those with other health problems.

"In order to reduce spread of infections it is important to keep children with any symptoms of flu-like illness away from school until they have recovered, are free of symptoms and have not had a fever for at least 24 hours.

"Good hand washing is also important to reduce the risk to others."

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