Two children from same primary school die

13 hours ago

By Angela FergusonBBC News, Merseyside

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The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed the deaths of two pupils who attended Millstead Primary School in Liverpool

Two children who were pupils at the same primary school have died, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed.

The children had both attended Millstead Primary School in Everton, Liverpool, a facility for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Millstead Primary School is currently dealing with “a number of cases” of the giardia infection, though the UKHSA said the deaths were “unlikely” to be due to the common gastric disease.

School headteacher Michelle Beard said the school community was “devastated” to have learned of the passing of two of their younger children.

‘Filled their classes with joy’

“We have sent our sincerest condolences to both of their families,” she added.

Ms Beard said that both children “filled their classes with joy during their time with us, and they will forever be in our hearts”.

Emma Savage, consultant for the UKHSA’s Cheshire and Merseyside health protection team, said that their “thoughts are with the family, friends and school community”.

She said the UKHSA had been working with Liverpool City Council and partners following a number of cases of giardia linked to Millstead Primary School, but said the “deaths are unlikely to be due to giardia”.

She added: “Giardia usually causes a self-limiting gastrointestinal illness which can spread easily in households and school settings.”

Ms Savage confirmed that “investigations are ongoing” into cases of the illness at the school.

“We have provided information and advice to the school and parents. Public health measures have been put in place to help prevent further cases.”

A Liverpool City Council spokesperson said: “The school and public health organisations are in direct contact with parents and families about managing the outbreak.”

They added that there was “no wider risk to the general community”.

How do humans get Giardia?

Giardiasis is one of the world’s most common gastric diseases, caused by giardia parasites that mimic human cell functions to break apart cells in the gut and feed inside.

People typically pick up the disease by drinking infected water or contaminated food.

Symptoms include severe diarrhoea, stomach pains, bloating, flatulence and fatigue and can last weeks or months without treatment.

Those suffering from giardiasis are usually able to recover from the illness with or without antibiotics.

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