The influenza virus has wrecked havoc on schools with sixty of them being hit by an outbreak of the winter vomiting virus and flu. About 20 schools in Birmingham, Sandwell and Dudley were closed due to this problem. Staff and children at these schools were suffering from violent vomiting, diarrhoea and high fevers.
The illness has affected 106 children at the Trinity Primary School, in Hereford. Doug Lowe, the head teacher said that even staff were sick, "It's affected everybody but mainly adults and the older end of the school, from years 4 to 6, rather than infants," Mr Lowe said. "They're suffering from severe headaches, so much so that the children were coming to us crying. There were episodes of vomiting. They've got stomach pains. They have very white faces and their eyes look sunken in." However he added that classes had not been affected, "We have still got sufficient staff to look after the welfare of the children. Children are actually having proper lessons." Laurence Knight, of the Health Protection Agency said that the illness was seasonal, "Two schools have closed and we are advising more than a dozen more in the Avon, Worcestershire and Wiltshire areas. These illnesses always spread quickly in schools because children are in close proximity to each other, which is why so many have been affected." Parents were asked to monitor their children to see that they drank plenty of water and fluids and were without any symptoms for a day before attending school.