300 pupils off sick at flu school
A quarter of pupils at a West Lothian High school are off sick, some of them suffering from flu-like symptoms.
About 300 Linlithgow Academy pupils have called in sick over the past few days, more than 100 of them with possible swine flu.
West Lothian Council has written to all parents as a precautionary measure but it stressed there were no plans to close schools in the area.
NHS Lothian said most people were likely to experience mild symptoms.
Gordon Ford, West Lothian Council's director of education, said: "We have taken the decision to write to all parents and carers in the Linlithgow area as a precaution.
"Clearly there is a high incidence of flu in the school community and we want to make sure that everyone is aware of the symptoms and that they should seek medical advice if their child shows signs of developing flu.
"We are following government guidance on managing this outbreak and there are no plans to close schools at this time, and all children who are not showing symptoms should continue to attend as normal.
"School closures will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, for example, if enough staff are off sick to mean that we cannot safely open the school. We will alert parents and carers if this were to happen."
Dr Alison McCallum, NHS Lothian's director of public health, said: "We are working closely with West Lothian Council following reports of a number of pupils with flu-like symptoms in the Linlithgow area. This situation is being closely monitored.
"Most people experience mild symptoms and make a full recovery.
"Practicing good hand and personal hygiene will help reduce the spread of the virus.
"Parents should make sure their children are washing their hands regularly, and that they cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, with a tissue if possible."
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