NEW Milton school students suffering cold symptoms after returning from a skiing trip to Italy are staying at home as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.
An Arnewood spokesperson said today (Thursday): “We have no identified cases of coronavirus or flu symptoms in school and all measures being taken are precautionary.
“We will continue to monitor the situation.”
A group of 32 year 11 and sixth form pupils stayed in Artesina in northern Italy – well outside the lockdown areas worst affected by coronavirus. They visited with four staff members for five nights during half term.
The school spokesperson said: “We have been liaising with parents of all children who attended the trip and are advising them to refer to the government and NHS guidance, which is to self-isolate only if they display a fever, difficulty with breathing or a cough.
“A few of the students have displayed cold symptoms, which is common this time of year, and are being kept at home as a precaution by their parents.
“We are keeping everyone appraised of any changes as they are notified to schools by the NHS/Department for Education.”
Milford headteacher Mrs Crawford’s decision to stay at home after her trip to Italy was confirmed in a letter to parents from her and its chairman of trustees, Clive Bryant.
The statement said: “It is important to point out that she did not visit any of the towns currently affected by the virus and that this is purely a precautionary measure.”
Milford Primary School also said it had been made aware of a family who had visited northern Italy during half term, and following advice they had also chosen to remain at home as a precaution.
Italy has reported more than 300 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the highest number outside Asia.
The cases are heavily concentrated in the Lombardy region where 212 infections have been confirmed. Today Italian authorities said 12 people have so far died from the virus in the country.
The Foreign Office is currently advising against all but essential travel to 10 small towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto, which are currently in isolation due to the outbreak.
The main signs of the coronavirus infection are fever and a cough as well as shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
The risk of infection can be reduced through frequent handwashing with soap or gel and avoiding close contact with people who are ill. People are also advised not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
Catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, binning it and washing your hands can minimise the risk of spreading disease.
Those experiencing symptoms after travelling from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days are advised to stay indoors and call the NHS 111 phone service, even if symptoms are mild.
Those returning from Iran, lockdown areas in northern Italy, special care zones in South Korea, and Hubei province in China since 19th February should call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if no symptoms are present.