UK: Winter vomiting virus caused
09 October 2008
By Leah Strug
Source of Article:
BUG which forced the borough's biggest school to shut has been revealed as
'winter vomiting disease'.
Harton Technology College
closed for two days at the beginning of the new term after 45 staff were struck down with symptoms similar to food poisoning.
But after investigations by South Tyneside
Council's environmental health team and the Health Protection Agency, it has
been discovered staff at the South Shields
school were suffering from the norovirus, known as
the 'winter vomiting disease'.
All teachers at the Lisle Road
school have recovered and there were no reports of illness among the 1,362
pupils, although the source of the bug is unknown.
Headteacher Ken Gibson said he had no option but to
close the school from September 8 to September 10.
A council spokesman said: "Following investigations by the council's
environmental health team and the Health Protection Agency, some of the staff
who were sick at Harton Technology
College, were found to
have norovirus, or 'winter vomiting disease'.
"This is the most common cause of infectious stomach bugs in England and Wales. Outbreaks are common in
enclosed spaces such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes and on cruise
"All staff are now well and have returned to
work. The initial source of the bug has not been identified."
Noroviruses are part of a group of viruses that are
the most common cause of stomach bugs in the UK.
Noroviruses are also known as the 'winter vomiting
disease' because people tend to get them during the winter months, but can occur
at any time of the year.
It is thought the norovirus affects between 600,000
and 1 million people in the UK