Hundreds of Edinburgh pupils hit by winter bug including one quarter of Gaelic primary

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At least four other schools also hit

MORE than a quarter of the pupils at a city primary school are off ill after being hit by a winter bug.

More than a quarter of pupils at Edinburgh's Gaelic primary school have been affected by the bug

More than a quarter of pupils at Edinburgh's Gaelic primary school have been affected by the bug

A total of 135 youngsters at Edinburgh’s Gaelic primary, Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce, in Bonnington Road are affected.

And the bug has also led to large number of absences at five other schools in the Capital – with 420 children reported as being ill.

Edinburgh City Council said Brunstane Primary, Buckstone Primary and the joint campus of Niddrie Mill and St Francis primaries had reported children off sick with the bug.

Schools in other parts of Scotland have had pupils off due to an outbreak of norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, but it is understood the symptoms in the Edinburgh schools are more flu-like – high temperatures and sore throats.

READ MORE: These are the norovirus symptoms to watch out for - and how to stop it spreading

etters have been sent to parents by NHS Lothian to alert them to the outbreak and giving them advice if their child shows symptoms.

The letter gives a long list of possible symptoms – including a sudden fever, an aching body, feeling tired or exhausted, a dry cough, sore throat, pain in the ears, headache, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, diarrhoea or tummy pain, nausea and being sick.

It continues: “If you are at all concerned about your child seek advice from your GP or call NHS24 on 111.

“If your child is affected with these symptoms we would like to remind you that your child should remain off school until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hours.

“Ensure all members of the family use a disposable, single use tissue to cover mouth and nose when coughing, sneezing, wiping or blowing noses. Tissues should be disposed of promptly and hands washed.”

Dr Richard Othieno, a consultant in public health medicine, said: “Several primary schools in Edinburgh have reported higher than usual numbers of children absent from school with a respiratory-type viral infection. The main symptoms reported are sore throat and raised temperature, with small numbers also reporting nausea and vomiting.

“NHS Lothian’s Health Protection Team has written to schools with advice on symptoms to watch out for and steps to take to reduce the risk of infection spreading.

“No specific treatment is required for mild viral respiratory infections and most people recover with rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Children should remain off school until they have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.”

And it includes links for further information on both flu and norovirus.

READ MORE: Norovirus alert: Shopping trolleys are spreading winter vomiting bug, health officials warn