Northern Ireland

Winter vomiting bug hits NI schools

classroom
Image caption A number of classrooms were hit across NI with the winter bug

Some schools in Northern Ireland are being hard hit by the winter vomiting bug with many pupils off sick.

A few have even had to close for a deep clean to tackle the virus.

About a quarter of the 360 pupils at Clandeboye Primary in Bangor are absent and the school will be shut on Wednesday.

Headteacher Julie Thomas said it was an "unprecedented outbreak" and they were trying as hard as they could to stem the infection.

Image caption Clandeboye headteacher Julie Thomas said children returned after days off and had been re-infected

"We want the children to be reassured, we want the parents to be reassured that we are covering all bases," she said.

"We don't like children being ill. A lot of us here are parents ourselves and we know it is difficult for families with childcare."

She said it had started last week and is affecting all year groups.

They thought the weekend would have given them some respite but the numbers off sick kept increasing, so they took the decision to close the school for a deep clean.

Killinchy Primary School, also in County Down, was closed on Monday for a deep clean, reopening on Tuesday,

Some post-primary schools have seen more than 100 pupils off sick.

The Department of Education told the BBC it had "recently approved a number of exceptional closures for the purposes of a deep clean".

Winter vomiting bug

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.

Advice for treatment is:

  • Stay off school or work until the symptoms have stopped for two days
  • Avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash - take small sips if you feel sick.

Source: Source: NHS

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