Northern Ireland

Legionnaires' disease bacterium found at Newtownabbey school

Hillcroft Special School
Image caption Hillcroft Special School in Newtownabbey will be closed for at least a week.

A school for pupils with special needs in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, has been closed for a week following the discovery of a bacterium which can cause Legionnaires' disease.

Hillcroft Special School was closed on Friday and will remain closed until 11 February until further tests have been carried out.

The bacterium was found in a disused shower block at the school.

The education board have said the area was not used by pupils.

In a statement the North Eastern Education and Library Board said: "We would like to reassure anyone who may be concerned that the area where the bacterium was found has not been in use by the pupils or staff at the school."

"The parents of pupils attending Hillcroft Special School have been notified by the principal and we will continue to work closely with the school, the Public Health Agency and the Health & Safety Executive to resolve this issue as quickly as possible".