Coronavirus: Gosport family in self-isolation as school confirms pupil's relatives are undergoing tests

A PUPIL at a Gosport school has gone into self-quarantine as family members who returned from a trip abroad are being tested for coronavirus.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 6:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 3:24 pm

The youngster, who attends Bay House School in Gomer Lane, was picked up by their parents today as a ‘precautionary measure', the school said.

Dr Nigel Mathias, headteacher at Bay House School, said: ‘We are informing parents that a pupil of this school was collected today by their parents as precautionary measure because relatives returning from a trip abroad are being tested for coronavirus.

‘The family have taken steps to minimise risk to themselves and the community and we are grateful to them for doing this.

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Bay House School in Gomer Lane, Alverstoke, Gosport. Picture: Michael Scaddan

‘Having consulted with Public Health England, we have taken the decision to keep the school open as at this stage the risk to staff and students is deemed to be extremely low.

‘We are in open communication with local health officials and should the situation change, we will contact parents immediately.

‘Staff and pupils will be encouraged to practise excellent hygiene as part of a strategy to respond in a proportionate manner.

‘Please be assured that our first priority is the safety and well-being of staff and students and we will not hesitate to taken any action necessaryto protect them.’

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The pupil’s family members did not travel to China.

It comes after Bay House School cancelled an exchange visit from Chinese students over concerns of the virus in January.

The Department of Health said anybody who has travelled to China, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau and has had shortness of breath in the past 14 days should stay indoors and call 111.

The Department of Health said as of today at least 1,758 people had been tested for the virus.

Nine cases have been confirmed as positive and all others returned negative.

The first case of coronavirus in London has been confirmed tonight and a woman is understood to be receiving treatment at St Thomas' Hospital.

It comes after the virus was renamed Covid-19. This stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Unlike previous outbreaks of diseases such as Swine flu, Spanish flu or Ebola, it has not been named after a geographical location or an animal.

This is to avoid ‘stigmatisation’, the World Health Organisation has said.

On Monday, England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said: ‘Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases.’

This week two Brighton GP surgeries have shut due to the virus and a staff member at Worthing Hospital, in West Sussex was tested as positive for it.

St Mary's Independent School in Bitterne Park, Southampton, also shut amid concerns of the virus’ spread.

At least one student at the secondary school who recently travelled to China allegedly showed symptoms of the illness upon their return.

One family was later tested at Southampton General Hospital and sent home to self isolate, which is normal protocol.

The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said coronavirus symptoms may show in as few as two days or as long as a fortnight after exposure.

The estimate is based on the previous incubation period of the Mers viruses.

Meanwhile a study by Chinese researchers has found the incubation period for Covid-19 can be up to 24 days.