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Norovirus closes Primrose Hill school after hundreds of children fall ill

PUBLISHED: 16:25 08 November 2012

The school closed on Thursday morning. File picture: PA Wire

The school closed on Thursday morning. File picture: PA Wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Hundreds of children and more than a dozen members of staff at a Camden school have been struck down with the contagious Norovirus illness causing it to close.

This morning, The European Safety Bureau carried out a health inspection of North Bridge House Preparatory School, in Gloucester Avenue and confirmed the virus, known as the winter vomiting bug, is present in the building.

The school will be closed tomorrow while health inspectors cleanse the building.

Yesterday North Bridge House Prep confirmed 86 children and five members of staff were infected by the illness, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

But the total number of pupils now infected has risen to 200. Fifteen members of staff have also become ill.

A statement on the school’s website warned that the virus could spread to the school’s other sites in the borough.

One father, whose 10-year-old daughter attends the prep school, said: “The first we heard about the sickness was mid-afternoon on Wednesday.

“Four pupils out of 14 in my daughter’s class were off sick but then others started to feel unwell.

“My daughter was due to attend an after-school club but this was cancelled at the last minute because the teacher had come down with the virus too.”

He told the Ham&High that his daughter was struck down with the illness last night.

He said: “She suddenly turned white and projectile vomited all over her bedroom.

“She was sick another four or five times throughout the night.

“We decided to keep her off school today but she’s been fine. She’s a bit weary but she’s managed to eat a couple of slices of toast.”

He added: “It’s a worry that something like this can affect a whole school and we’re now concerned that my daughter might have passed it on to her two younger brothers, who are aged eight and five, but go to another school.

“I’m not sure what the school have done to prevent it, though.”

North Bridge House School also has a nursery school, a junior and a senior school at different sites in Camden.

In a letter sent to parents today, the headteacher of the prep school said it is following the advice of the European Safety Bureau, and insured that “a specialist team will clean the entire school with anti-viral sprays and use air-based products.”

He added: “As we host children across all four school sites from the same families, there is a possibility that infection may spread to our other sites.

“As a result the Nursery, Junior and Senior Schools will be subject to the same cleaning regime over the weekend.” The letter also warned parents to keep their children out of school next week, if they show any signs of illness.

The teachers plan to reopen the prep school on Monday.

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