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Mystery bug closes school

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Mystery bug closes school

AN OUTBREAK of a contagious illness has closed a Dumfries primary school.

And a deep clean is set to be carried out at Calside Primary School, which was shut on Thursday due to the high number of pupils and staff absent due to the mystery bug.
Head of the school’s parent council Myra Smith said: “I think it’s been rumbling on.
“We have had a couple of text reminders to keep our children off for 48 hours after a bug, so I’m assuming that people have maybe been sending their kids back.”
But she added: “I think it’s got to the stage today where there’s a number of teachers not in and children as well, so they’ve gone to the education department and had to go down this route.”
Myra says she was at work when she received a phone call from a neighbour informing her of the closure and offering to collect her daughter.
And the Happy Faces after school club which also serves pupils from schools including Georgetown and Noblehill was unable to use Calside Primary rooms, leaving Myra’s neighbour looking after four children for working parents on Thursday afternoon.
Similar arrangements were to be necessary on Friday, with the school remaining closed.
With parents believing the bug might be the Norovirus, or winter vomiting bug, she said: “They’re going to clean the school from top to bottom, so hopefully it won’t spread any further – a deep clean.
“It’s what they do when they close a ward at the hospital.”
With her daughter so far escaping the illness, Myra added: “Initially you think, ‘My God – what’s she been exposed to?’
“But if you think that they’re going in and going to clean, then you know you’re going to send them back on Monday morning and hopefully they’ve contained it.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council have confirmed the school was shut due to the outbreak.
A spokesman for the local authority said: “Calside Primary School has a high number of pupils and staff absent due to a contagious illness that has symptoms similar to gastroenteritis.
“These include headache, sore neck, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, lasting up to 48 hours.”
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