Coventry school closed after pupil typhoid diagnosis

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Whitmore Park Primary SchoolImage source, Google
Image caption,
A deep clean of the school began at the weekend

A Coventry school has closed after a pupil was diagnosed with typhoid.

Whitmore Park Primary School was closed on Monday to complete a "deep clean" which began at the weekend. It is expected to reopen on Tuesday.

Head teacher Jacqueline McGibney said the school was working with Public Health England (PHE) "who have advised us that the risk to children is low".

PHE said the child's infection was travel-related and an associated pupil was being tested.

Ms McGibney said the school in Halford Lane had been keeping parents informed.

"We have a well-managed cleaning regime which follows the advice of the [city] council's environmental health team," she added.

PHE said the infection was believed to be travel-related and the child has been receiving antibiotics and was "feeling much improved".

A small number of close contacts have been asked for blood and stool samples, for lab testing, it added.

Angela Cartwright, from PHE West Midlands Health Protection Team, said: "The risk to other children at the school is low, but as a precaution, we are testing a small number of close contacts.

"If typhoid fever is left untreated, symptoms will worsen over time, and there is a risk of developing serious complications - so it's important for people with symptoms to contact their GP or call NHS111."

What is typhoid fever?

Typhoid fever is caused by highly contagious Salmonella Typhi bacteria and spread through contaminated food and water.

It is most common in countries with poor sanitation and a lack of clean water.

Symptoms include:

  • prolonged fever
  • headache
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation

It causes fatal complications, such as internal bleeding, in one in 100 people.

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