Norovirus Outbreak Leads To Closure Of Portsmouth Schools

Investigation Into Suspected Illness 'Vital'


Portsmouth City Council has been urged by an illness expert at Irwin Mitchell to fully investigate after two schools were closed following a suspected outbreak of norovirus.

Both Stamshaw Junior School and Stamshaw Infant School, which each reportedly have around 200 pupils, have been shut due to the illness. The bug has only been confirmed in the junior school, but the infant school has been closed as a precaution.

Work is now underway to both identify the source of the outbreak and also to deep clean the junior school, with the hope that it will be back open on Monday (September 26th).

Irwin Mitchell acts for clients who have suffered illness in the UK and abroad, including a number of people who have suffered long-term health effects as a result of contracting norovirus. This year alone they have been contacted by people who were affected the illness following stays at hotels in Torquay and the Butlins site in Bognor Regis, as well as a host of other resorts in other countries.

Suki Chhokar, a Partner and illness specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “It is vital that environmental health authorities in Portsmouth work quickly to consider how the outbreak began and, more importantly, if it could have been stopped earlier.

“While the schools have now closed, it will be interesting to see whether they have followed every possible step beforehand to limit the spread of the illness among pupils and staff.

“Norovirus can cause severe short and long-term symptoms and in many of the cases we deal with people have been left with serious, permanent conditions as a result of the illness.

“The families of all of those affected by these closures will undoubtedly be seeking answers and it is incredibly important that lessons can be learnt which will reduce the possibility of similar problems in the future.”