Woodford Green primary school tackling flu and ‘winter vomiting bug’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 November 2019

St Antony's primary school where several students are ill with the flu and norovirus. Picture: Google Maps

St Antony's primary school where several students are ill with the flu and norovirus. Picture: Google Maps


Several children are sick with the flu and suspected norovirus at a Woodford Green primary school.

Public Health England (PHE) is working closely with St Antony's Catholic Primary School in Mornington Road to reduce the spread of the illness and parents have been notified.

Chantal Pampellonne, headteacher of St Antony's, said: "Unfortunately, we have a number of pupils currently off school with flu-like symptoms.

"When the illness was first reported, we consulted with Public Health and have been proactive in ensuring parents are aware of the guidance to follow, including measures to minimise the risk of infection and parents of children with underlying illnesses contacting their GP."

St Antony's carried out a deep clean of the school and an officer from Redbridge Council visited to ensure proper precautions were in place.

Dr Edward Wynne-Evans, head of PHE's local health protection team, said: "There have been several children absent from school with confirmed flu, and others with suspected norovirus after symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.

"This is not unusual for this time of year and we have been providing advice to parents and the school to help reduce the spread of infection."

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He said they are encouraging all parents to have their child immunised as part of the school's flu vaccination programme, or with their GP and the flu nasal spray offers children the best form of protection from this year's flu.

Symptoms of flu may develop quickly and can include a sudden fever, a dry, chesty cough, sore throat, aching body, headache, tiredness, diarrhoea or nausea.

The PHE suspects some students may have norovirus, also called the "winter vomiting bug".

Norovirus is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

Symptoms include nausea, stomach pains and fever and it usually goes away in about two days.

Dr Wynne-Evans said: "If your child shows these symptoms, they should not attend school and not mix with others outside the home until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped."

If you are concerned about your child's symptoms or need further advice on how to manage an illness, please consult your GP or NHS 111.

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