Quarter of Corstorphine Primary pupils have norovirus

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Almost a quarter of children are absent from a Capital primary school following an outbreak of the norovirus.

More than 150 children from Corstorphine Primary School have been affected by the highly infectious vomiting bug.

All after school clubs and school trips have been cancelled this week after the mass break out.

The school issued letters to parents requesting them not to send their children to school until 48 hours after they had symptoms.

Professor Alison McCallum, NHS Lothian’s director of public health, said: “We are investigating an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting in Corstorphine Primary School and Nursery, though it is likely to be caused by the norovirus.

“We also have strict infection control procedures in place and are managing and reviewing the situation on a daily basis.”

As a result, school trips due to take place this week to Craigmount and Scottish Parliament have all been postponed until the school has a clean bill of health. The school has also increased its cleaning provision in order to prevent the norovirus from spreading.

Headteacher Lucy Henderson told parents in a letter: “We are aware that many parents have kept their children off school as a precaution and we really appreciate this.

“Our cleaners were in early and have cleaned all desks, handles and doors as well as the bathrooms with Milton and have done this again after school.

“We have also had additional cleaners in school throughout the day who have cleaned the bathrooms again after both break and lunch. This level of cleaning will continue for the rest of the week.

“We are hopeful that by following this policy so rigidly and with the support we have received from parents we now have the situation under control, minimising the impact on all the Christmas activities planned for the next couple of weeks.”

In addition, the school’s nursery stay and play sessions have also been cancelled this week. The school has 550 children on the books with a further 100 at the nursery.

The number of absences at Corstorphine Primary School dropped yesterday with staff and pupils returning after illness. The outbreak comes after Health Protection Scotland announced NHS Boards were experiencing increased norovirus activity.

Lisa Ritchie, nurse consultant, infection control at HPS, said: “Norovirus is a highly infectious virus that causes outbreaks in the community, healthcare and care settings. Although it is present all year round, norovirus becomes more common in the winter when people stay indoors for longer and in larger groups.

“As norovirus is so infectious, it is important that everyone plays their part and takes responsibility for trying to reduce the risk of outbreaks.”