South London School has sent reception classes home until the end of the semester after a child came into contact with a Monkeypox case that sparked fears of an outbreak, according to a letter to parents seen by Standard.
Grand Avenue Primary and Nursery School in Surbiton in south London told parents that there was “extremely low risk to our community” after the close contact, but as a precautionary measure, they closed reception classes until the end of the semester – two weeks away.
It read: “The entire reception team and school management are devastated that the end of this academic year should end in this way for the children.”
The school apologized for the “short notice” but said they acted on the advice of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and are “obliged to follow these precautionary guidelines.”
Authorities advised parents to avoid very close contact with their child, including hugs with friends and family. Children would be offered the Monkeypox vaccine. They also advised parents to postpone all non-urgent medical appointments for their child and monitor their child for any symptoms until July 28th.
“These measures are preventative, but are important for the health and safety of your child and family, the wider school community and anyone else your child may have contact with, even if the risk is low,” they wrote.
A receptionist at Grand Avenue Primary and Nursery School declined to comment when contacted by Standard.
Other classes are thought to continue as normal.
One parent told Standard: “I’m not worried about the kids getting Monkeypox as I understand there is a low risk of them getting seriously ill, but I’m worried about the foster children they’ll lose in the last few weeks of. school. I’m also worried that other classes may close. “
On July 3, Thorn Grove Primary School in Stockport sent students home for three weeks after a member of the school community was tested positive for the virus.
Louise Bishop, a health protection consultant at the UK Health Safety Agency, London, said: “We are working with Kingston Council to provide public health advice to Grand Avenue Primary and Nursery School following a confirmed case of monkey poop in the school community.
“Once cases of monkey pox are identified, we quickly investigate and perform detailed contact tracing to assess who may have come into contact with them and what their contact was.
“After our risk assessment, the relevant health information and advice is given to the contacts so that they know what symptoms they need to be aware of and what they need to do, e.g. vaccination.
“Any parent who is concerned about unusual rashes or blisters on any part of their child’s body should contact NHS 111, while adults may contact NHS111 or their local sexual health service. Both adults and children should avoid contact with others until they can afford it. . ”
This is happening as more than 1,700 cases of monkey pox have now been recorded in the UK, with 75 per cent of cases in London.
Last week, charities warned that monkey pox could become endemic in the UK without further action from the government.
The Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that the outbreak has mainly been in homosexuals, bisexuals and men who have sex with other men “without a documented history of travel to endemic countries”.
The NHS continues to warn people to keep an eye out for soreness, fever and swollen glands as possible signs of monkey pox.
Anyone with symptoms is advised to avoid close contact with others and call NHS 111.