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Diarrhoea and vomiting: Start-of-term reminder to parents 7 January 2013

PARENTS are reminded they should not to send their children to school if they have diarrhoea and/or vomiting.

The most likely cause of diarrhoea and vomiting at this time of the year is norovirus infection. The number of cases of norovirus has been greater this year than in previous years and the virus seems more virulent.

Dr Parameswaran Kishore, Director of Public Health, said:

‘With schools reopening today, it is likely that the number of cases of norovirus infection will rise. To prevent this, my advice to parents is – please do not send your child to school if he or she has diarrhoea and/or vomiting. Practice good hygiene and follow the ‘48-hour rule’. Do not send your child back to school – or in the case of adults, return to work – for 48 hours after all the symptoms have resolved.’

Martin Barrow, Director of Education, said headteachers had been provided with a letter from the Public Health Directorate to send home to parents or include in newsletters this week.

He said:

‘In the past we have had to close schools because of norovirus outbreaks. We want to avoid this and my request to parents and staff is to follow the advice from Public Health. The DEC will be working closely with Dr Kishore to monitor the situation.’

For more information on diarrhoea and vomiting, visit www.gov.im/health and click on the ‘norovirus information’ link or see the leaflet below.

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