Lancashire

Norovirus: Preston school closed for 'deep clean' after 40 pupils fall ill

Penwortham County Primary School Image copyright Google
Image caption Head teacher Chris Mitchell said the decision to close was "a precautionary measure"

A primary school has been closed for a "deep clean" after 40 pupils fell ill during a "suspected outbreak" of norovirus, its head teacher has said.

Chris Mitchell said one staff member had also been affected at Penwortham County Primary School in Preston, which will be shut until Monday.

"We've been very vigilant and followed usual procedures, including contacting Public Health England," he said.

He added that the decision to close was "a precautionary measure".

The ill pupils have been advised to stay at home until 48 hours after their symptoms have passed.

Mr Mitchell said the school, which has about 200 pupils, had been hit by a "suspected outbreak of a viral gastroenteritis, more commonly known as norovirus".

"We decided that the most effective action would be to... carry out a deep clean," he said.

"We've done all the right things to combat any further spread... and we plan on opening as normal on Monday."

According to Public Health England, outbreaks of nororvirus are "common in semi-enclosed environments, such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools and cruise ships", but most people "make a full recovery within a couple of days".

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