Illness outbreak closes West Yorkshire primary school

A primary school in West Yorkshire has been closed following an outbreak of a stomach bug.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said pupils and staff at Cross Lane Primary School in Elland had been affected by the Shigella bacteria, which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting.

The HPA said that nine cases had been confirmed and more than 50 people had displayed symptoms over the last three weeks.

The school will reopen on 15 October.

Deep cleaning

Dr Ebere Okereke, consultant in communicable disease control at West Yorkshire Health Protection Unit, said: "The school has been co-operating with our investigations and following strict exclusion and hygiene measures to try and prevent further spread of the infection within the school.

"However, an increasing number of suspected cases of gastroenteritis are continuing to be reported at the school, indicating that the infection is continuing to spread.

"Only a few germs are needed to spread the infection, which passes easily from person to person, especially in this age group, in semi-closed environments such as schools."

Dr Okereke said that investigations into the cause of the outbreak were still continuing.

She said: "It is most likely that the outbreak was caused as a result of the infection passing from person to person.

"We currently have no information to suggest the illness was passed through contaminated food or drink."

The HPA said the school will be deep cleaned before reopening.

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