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Information letter on winter illnesses

Stoke Primary School

Briton Road



Head Teacher





Mrs A Marrs

024 7645 1724

024 7643 1209



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As part of Coventry City Council and Warwickshire City Council's winter campaign, we are wanting

to promote very simple messages about the importance of hand washing as one of the most effective infection control measures against winter bugs such as Norovirus. We know that norovirus is now starting to circulate this year. Norovirus is highly infectious and spreads easily in environments such as nurseries and schools. We would ask you to encourage all staff and children to wash their hands regularly. Please see the norovirus section of our website, where you can download posters to display:


For other advice for the winter season, please see the Stay Well in Winter campaign website:

Norovirus, also known as “winter vomiting disease”, commonly occurs in the winter months, and causes vomiting and diarrhoea. The symptoms usually last between 12 and 60 hours, and tend to start with the sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and diarrhoea.

Good hygiene, including thorough hand washing, especially after toilet visits and before eating, will  help reduce the spread of infection. Norovirus can contaminate the hands of children and staff  if not adequately washed, and the environment is easily contaminated if a child has been unwell, as virus particles can remain in the air and settle in the environment. Therefore, if a child does become unwell in your nursery or school, it is important to clean up spillages and the surrounding environment promptly, and make sure that cleaning frequency is increased. All areas should be cleaned initially with a detergent and water, followed by a chlorine-based agent (e.g. Milton). Pay attention to surfaces  that are frequently touched, e.g. tabletops, taps and sinks, toilet handles and light switches.


Make sure toilets are clean.

It is important that hands are washed correctly, please see: bit.ly/16gN5xD for the recommended washing technique. Liquid soap should be used and not bar soap, which increases the risk of cross contamination.

Commercial products to clean hands are currently being marketed directly to schools and nurseries. These products are similar to hand decontaminants used in hospitals. Some are being sold as a replacement for hand washing. Please be aware that following visits to the toilet, or any other activity where hands may be physically soiled, hand washing with soap and water is the only recommended method of cleaning hands.

If your nursery or school experiences an outbreak, i.e. two or more cases of diarrhoea and/or vomiting, please contact Public Health England on 0344 2253560 option 2, option 1 for advice. In addition to the hygiene and cleaning measures outlined above, it is important that all staff and children with symptoms stay at home until 48 hours after their symptoms stop.


Further information and resources can be found in the “Norovirus Toolkit for Schools and Nurseries” at:



We would also like to take this opportunity to make you aware of e-Bug, a really useful online resource for schools to help teach children and young people about microbes, infection, hygiene, vaccinations and antibiotic resistance. Please see:


Thank you.