UPDATED: Children taken to hospital as viruses spread through Bournemouth and Poole schools (From Thisisdorset)
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UPDATED: Children taken to hospital as viruses spread through Bournemouth and Poole schools
HUNDREDS of pupils and staff have been struck down with sickness and flu bugs at schools in Bournemouth and Poole, with some needing hospital treatment.
Around 70 people at Bournemouth Collegiate School in College Road, Southbourne, were said to be affected on Monday and more new cases have been reported since.
And nearly a quarter of youngsters at Lytchett Matravers Primary School have been affected with flu-like symptoms, with 94 youngsters off at the end of last week.
Bournemouth Collegiate principal Stephen Duckitt alerted parents on Monday and offered the option of collecting pupils from school early.
Yesterday he told the Daily Echo: “We are at a time of year where sickness viruses can spread. Although a number of pupils have had to miss school because of the bug, the number of new cases being reported today is limited.
“We have worked closely with all the relevant health authorities and expect school life to resume as normal very soon.”
At Lytchett Matravers parents have been warned to keep poorly children at home until they are fully recovered.
At the end of last week deputy head David Dorrell wrote to parents informing them that high numbers of children were away from school ill with up to 13 students missing from a single class.
He said most had flu-like symptoms including headache, raised temperature, aching limbs and a sore throat with sickness in some cases.
Mr Dorrell told the Daily Echo he believes two or three youngsters had been taken to hospital over the weekend as a precaution. But he added: “It is the time of year for viruses, we are coming to the end of term and children are tired. We have also had cases of measles and chicken pox.”
Headteacher Valerie Arbon said: “It is very unusual to have that many children off sick. They seem to have a virus and a high temperature – Year 3 has been affected the most.”
A spokesman for Bournemouth council said they were not aware of increased sickness levels in the borough.
Poole’s Lilliput First School has also experienced higher than usual levels of sickness.
A Borough of Poole spokeswoman said: “Lilliput First School experienced higher than usual sickness levels recently with pupils reporting a mixture of fever, flu and cold-like symptoms.
"Attendance levels are returning to normal and the school has been acting on the advice of the Health Protection Agency, with the support of the local authority, to do everything it can to keep the school open while minimising the risk of illness spreading.”
- Yesterday the Health Protection Agency warned that cases of Norovirus are up 64% on last year, with more than half a million people ill so far this winter.