Children 'dropped like flies' after suspected norovirus outbreak at school
PUBLISHED: 16:56 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 25 September 2019
A primary school where scores of children are believed to have been struck down with norovirus has declined to confirm or deny whether an outbreak took place.
Parents at Norwich Primary Academy say an outbreak of the vomiting bug at the end of last week caused dozens of children to fall ill.
One parent claimed almost a quarter of the school's 350 pupils were absent at the end of last week and questioned why the school had not been closed.
Norwich Primary Academy did not confirm or deny whether any cases of norovirus has been reported, saying it could not comment on individual cases, but added that it took pupil health seriously and followed all relevant health protection guidelines.
Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is highly contagious and can spread rapidly through schools and workplaces.
Reports of an outbreak at the academy in Clarkson Road, run by the Inspiration Trust, came as Norfolk County Council issued advice to residents following several cases of norovirus being reported in the county.
To prevent its spread public health officials are reinforcing the importance of frequent hand-washing and asking anyone experiencing vomiting and diarrhoea to remain at home and off work or school for at least 48 hours after their last symptoms.
One parent, whose children are in year one and year three at Norwich Primary Academy, said a group social media chat for parents at the school has reportedly been awash with talk of children and other family members falling victim to sickness and diarrhoea.
"It is speculation from the teachers at the moment," she said.
"There were 18 children in a year one class out of 30 on Friday morning and 10 on Friday afternoon. The children are dropping like flies."
She said there had been little communication from the school on the situation, which is believed to have extended into the start of this week.
Rebecca Handley Kirk, principal at Norwich Primary Academy, said: "Excellent attendance at school is important to allow a child or young person to fulfil their potential. At Norwich Primary Academy we have clear guidance for parents about our absence procedures and support parents with enabling their children to have high levels of attendance."