Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

Dubai school shut after nausea and vomiting outbreak

The Kindergarten Starters, an Indian curriculum school owned by Gems Education, made the decision to close its doors temporarily on the advice of authorities

The Kindergarten Starters, an Indian curriculum school owned by Gems Education, is expected to reopen on Sunday following the outbreak of gastroenteritis. Chris Whiteoak / The National
The Kindergarten Starters, an Indian curriculum school owned by Gems Education, is expected to reopen on Sunday following the outbreak of gastroenteritis. Chris Whiteoak / The National

A Dubai primary school has been shut for two days after two dozen pupils became ill with nausea and vomiting.

The Kindergarten Starters, an Indian curriculum school owned by Gems Education, made the decision to close its doors temporarily to halt the spread of a suspected airborne virus.

The first case was reported on April 8, when a pupil fell ill not long after returning from holiday.

By that evening, about two dozen children had become sick, all displaying symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and body aches.

“Gems Education’s dedicated health and safety team is on the ground, together with school representatives who are closely monitoring and investigating the matter,” said a spokesman for Gems.

“All parents and relevant authorities have been informed and officials from Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Municipality have visited the school.

“As a precautionary measure and on the advice of the authorities, we have made the decision to close the school on April 10 and April 11.

“The safety of our pupils and staff is of paramount importance, and we are taking all necessary measures in the interests of our pupils.”

Their symptoms are similar to those caused by norovirus, a highly contagious illness.

Its symptoms include nausea and vomiting - which is more common in children - as well as fever, headaches and fatigue. The virus can infect hundreds of people in close proximity in a short period of time.

The school is expected to be fumigated and its air ducts cleaned. Classes are scheduled to resume on Sunday.

Updated: April 10, 2019 05:06 PM

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