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Whooping cough outbreak impacts Stroud school

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A Stroud primary school was forced to close last week after a whooping cough outbreak.

Uplands Primary School shut last Friday, but reopened on Monday after undertaking a deep clean over the weekend.

Headteacher James Powell told Stroud Times he’d issued a letter to parents, saying: “Unfortunately, due to a whooping cough outbreak confirmed today, we have made the difficult decision to close the school tomorrow (June 14th) to safeguard pupils, staff and families and to prevent this respiratory infection from spreading.

“This decision was not taken lightly and made after seeking advice from Public Health, England and the Health and Safety Team from Gloucestershire County Council. The school will undertake a ‘deep clean’ before the school reopens on Monday morning at the usual time.

“Online learning will be available on each class blog by 08:30am tomorrow morning.

“If your child is suffering a cough or is unwell and you are concerned, please contact your doctor.

“Apologies for any inconvenience caused, but the safety of everyone is paramount.” 

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes.

Known as pertussis or “100-day cough”, the infection can be particularly serious for babies and infants.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says youngsters should isolate for 21 days ‘from the onset of symptoms’ to avoid spreading the killer bug, if they have not had antibiotics.

And The UK Health Security Agency warns of a steady decline in uptake of the vaccine in pregnant women and children.

It spreads very easily and can sometimes cause serious problems. It’s important for babies and children to get vaccinated against it, says the NHS.

Symptoms of the cough are similar to that of a cold however after a week it can transpire into a cough which reportedly can last a few minutes with those suffering also sometimes making a “whoop” sound when coughing.

People suffering from the symptoms may also experience vomiting and redness in the face.

NHS England national director for vaccinations and screening Steve Russell said: “With whooping cough on the rise, it is important that families come forward to get the protection they need.

“If you are pregnant and have not been vaccinated yet or your child is not up-to-date with whooping cough or other routine vaccinations, please contact your GP as soon as possible.

“And if you or your child have symptoms ask, for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111.”

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