Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Norovirus closes Edinburgh school

Oxgangs Primary School Image copyright Google
Image caption The school will be closed until Monday while a deep clean takes place

An Edinburgh school has closed after 150 children and 14 staff became ill with the norovirus winter vomiting bug.

Pupils and staff at Oxgangs Primary School in Oxgangs Road North reported suffering sickness and diarhhoea over the past 24 hours.

Officials said it is usually a short-lived illness and children recover quickly.

The school will be closed until Monday while a deep clean is carried out.

Andy Gray, Edinburgh City Council's head of schools and community services, said: "The wellbeing of everyone at the school is paramount so we've taken the decision to send pupils and staff home on the advice of NHS Lothian's health protection team.

"A deep clean will now take place and the school will reopen on Monday. We realise that closing the school presents difficulties for parents but it is an essential course of action to deal with the outbreak."

Image copyright CDC
Image caption The norovirus bug can still be infectious for two days after symptoms go away

Dr Lorna Willocks, NHS Lothian's consultant in public health, said: "Due to the large number of children affected at Oxgangs Primary, we have advised the school to close until Monday in order to try to shorten the duration of the outbreak.

"Norovirus is highly infectious and can spread very easily.

"You can still be infectious up to 48 hours after your symptoms go, so although you may feel better you may still be passing on the bug to others during this time.

"So, it is very important that if you have had sickness and diarrhoea that you stay off school or work for at least 48 hours after your symptoms go away."

Dr Willocks added: "The school will undergo a thorough deep clean and we are advising parents to ensure that all members of the family wash their hands frequently, especially before meal times and after using the toilet."

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