HEALTH chiefs say a sickness outbreak which infected dozens of children at a Hampshire school was a 'Norovirus type' illness.

Bosses at Public Health England South East say around 45 students at Marchwood Junior School fell ill with the bug, which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting.

They also confirmed the government agency advised the school to close today and to carry out a deep clean of the premises - a decision taken by school bosses.

Jill Morris, Consultant in Communicable Diseases at PHE said: “To reduce the possibility of further onward infection we have provided appropriate advice to the school, who have undertaken a deep clean of the premises, and provided information and advice to people with symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting.

“As always in episodes of gastrointestinal illness, the advice is to pay particular attention to good hygiene.

"It is vital to wash hands thoroughly using liquid soap and warm running water after using the toilet, before and after handling food and after contact with any animals and pets.


"It is also important to maintain food preparation practices to avoid infections, all meat should be thoroughly cooked and fruit and salad items should be washed before eating.

“Anyone who is concerned about vomiting and diarrhoea symptoms should phone NHS 111 or your GP for advice.”

As previously reported on the Echo website, the school was closed today (Monday), following the outbreak of the bug.

It was initially reported that around 60 pupils and five staff fell ill with a 'sickness bug'.

A notice on the school's website said: "There is a sickness bug currently in school which seems to have escalated today.

"Please note the school will be shut on Monday, December 3 in order to deep clean the school.

"Please ensure that your child does not return to school until 48 hours after the last episode of sickness."

Headteacher Laurie Anderson later confirmed the school would reopen tomorrow.


In a statement on the school's website by headteacher Laurie Andersen said: "The school has had an intensive clean since Friday because of the number of children who were physically unwell in the school building.

"However, if your child has been unwell, please ensure they do not return to school until at least 48 hours after the last time of being sick.

"It is likely they will make other children unwell if they return to school too early.

"If your child feels unwell but has not actually been sick, please give them a day to rest tomorrow.

"In this current situation, we would prefer they missed a day off school than came in and were sick in school."