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High School For Girls

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Important Information For Parents/Carers

Outbreak of measles in Gloucestershire and highly contagious vomiting and diarrhoea bug is sweeping the UK

Dear Parents/Carers

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • Outbreak of measles in Gloucestershire.
  • Highly contagious vomiting and diarrhoea bug is sweeping the UK.

Outbreak of measles in Gloucestershire

There have been no reported cases at the High School for Girls.

The government has urged parents/carers to make sure that their children have received vaccines amid an outbreak of measles in two Gloucestershire schools.  Public Health England (PHE) is aware of three confirmed and six probable cases of measles in Gloucestershire.

PHE is asking parents/carers to CHECK that they and their children have received TWO DOSES of the MEASLES, MUMPS AND RUBELLA (MMR) vaccine.

If parents are unsure about whether they or their children have received two doses of the vaccine then please speak to your GP who will give further advice.

Parents/carers also need to remain alert to the symptoms of measles, which can include cold-like symptoms, sore red eyes, a high temperature or a red-brown blotchy rash.  If anyone in the family experiences these symptoms then please seek medical attention.  Please be sure to phone ahead before you visit your GP surgery so arrangements can be made to prevent others from being infected.

You should also see your GP if you/anyone in the family has been in close contact with someone who has measles and if you/the person has not been fully vaccinated (had two doses of the MMR vaccine) or has not had the infection before, particularly those who are immune suppressed, pregnant or infants.

Shigellosis – highly infectious

An extremely contagious winter vomiting and diarrhoea bug has been reported in neighbouring counties but NO CASES have been diagnosed in GLOUCESTERSHIRE.

Shigellosis, also known as Shigella or bacillary dysentery is highly contagious.  It is spread from person to person and according to the NHS the bacteria can be spread if someone carrying the infection doesn’t wash their hands properly after going to the toilet.  It can be passed through direct contact, from surfaces or food that the infected person has touched.

The infection spreads quickly amongst groups of people, therefore schools are particularly vulnerable.

The symptoms are:

  • High temperature – 38°C or over.
  • Nausea and sickness.
  • Painful stomach cramps.

The symptoms can last around five to seven days.

Treatment:

  • Plenty of fluids so that dehydration does not occur.
  • Over the counter painkillers can help relieve pain and reduce temperature.
  • Use of oral re-hydration solutions, if necessary.

Anyone with the infection should stay at home for at least 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea to minimise the risk of spreading the bacteria. If Shigella is suspected students and staff should not return to school or work until stool samples have been tested and results show that samples are free from infection.

Good hygiene is the key to preventing the spread of Shigellosis

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the toilet and at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • Clean and disinfect all toilets on a regular basis.
  • Don’t forget to clean flush handles, taps and sinks with soap and hot water after use, followed by household disinfectant.
  • Always wash your hands before handling, cooking or eating food.
  • Avoid sharing towels and wash cloths.
  • Be sure to wash the laundry of an infected person on the hottest possible setting.
  • Stay away from school or work until you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
  • Do not go swimming until you have been free of symptoms for two days.

I thought it best to forewarn parents/carers about the two health issues occurring currently.

Best wishes

Eva's signature

Ewa Sawicka

Headteacher