More schools hit by swine flu

ON the day that students and staff are returning to St Albans, another Ipswich school has been hit by swine flu.

ON the day that students and staff are returning to St Albans, another Ipswich school has been hit by swine flu.

Parents of children at Murrayfield Primary School received a letter from head teacher Wendy James yesterday telling them that a boy had been confirmed to have the disease.

The school is remaining open after seeking advice from the local authorities.

In her letter to parents Ms James said: “I contacted the local authority at the weekend and their advice based upon Health Authority advice, is that the school will remain open.

“The swine flu virus is now in Ipswich and could be caught in any place by anyone, even when out shopping, so there is no need to keep your children away from school.”

The mother, who asked not to be named, said it was unlikely her son will be going to school today.

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“I feel it is an unnecessary risk to expose my son,” she said. “My father is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment and I do not want to risk someone in my family catching it and passing it on.”

The school have implemented increased hygiene procedures, supplying extra tissues in each classroom as well as anti-bacterial gel.

Meanwhile Stoke by Nayland Middle School is also remaining open despite a pupil being diagnosed with swine flu and recovering at home.

In a letter to parents headteacher David Livingstone said: "The school is working closely with the Health Protection Agency, NHS colleagues and local authorities to monitor the situation."

A Suffolk County Council spokesperson said: “We are providing regular advice and support to schools based on information from NHS Suffolk.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Suffolk said since the Health Protection Agency (HPA) moved from the containment phase to the treatment phase on July 2, the situation has changed.

“Schools were closing, following the advice of the HPA during the containment stage,” she said. “Now we are in the treatment stage the focus is on treating those people who have the illness.”