MIDDLEWICH High School will be closed tomorrow, Friday, and Monday due to an outbreak of Norovirus.

The school has also advised parents not to send their children back to school until 48 hours after final symptoms have ended.

A deep cleansing of the school environment is due to be carried out in order to prevent any further spread of the illness.

In a letter to parents, headteacher Heidi Thurland said: “On Monday, November 25, I was informed by the local authority that Norovirus was in our region and potentially presenting a risk of spreading within schools and businesses.

“I have today had a significant number of both students and staff experiencing symptoms of Norovirus, with cases now being confirmed by the medical profession.

“This now represents a significant safeguarding concern as we cannot safely staff the school.

“Following further advice from our local authority and Public Health England, I have been instructed and authorised to close the school as a precautionary measure to halt the spread of the virus.

“The school is carrying out a deep clean of the school environment to prevent any further spread of the illness.

“We have endeavoured to communicate as quickly as possible to support families, I have needed to make this decision to safeguard our school community and fully appreciate your support at home.”

A post on the school’s Facebook page added: “Please be advised, due to an outbreak of Norovirus which has significantly affected staff and students, the school will be closed on Friday, November29 and Monday, December 2.

“Please be advised students must NOT return to school until 48 hours AFTER final symptoms have ended.

“Year 11 Progress Evening on Tuesday, December 3 will run as normal.

“The certificate evening for Year 11 leavers this evening will also continue to run as this is based in the Civic.”

According to Public Health England, there is currently an increase in reports of diarrhoea and vomiting in school children consistent with viral gastroenteritis.

This is often caused by Norovirus, a frequent cause of vomiting and diarrhoea in the community during the winter.

The most common symptom of Norovirus is vomiting.

Diarrhoea tends to be short-lived and less severe than with other causes of gastroenteritis.

Other symptoms include nausea, abdominal cramps, headache, muscle aches, chills and fever.

The illness is usually self-limiting in nature and gets better without antibiotics, which are not appropriate for viral illnesses.

Symptoms usually last between one and three days.