School girls hit by '24-hour' bug

Craighead Diocesan School has a vomiting and diarrhoea epidemic.

Principal Lindy Graham said 48 students were away sick on Wednesday, but things were improving as only 41 students were away with the illness yesterday.

There was a mix of both day girls and boarders affected, she said.

"We have sent 18 boarders home to give us some breathing space. It's only 18 out of 110, so it's the minority not the majority," Graham said.

It seemed to only be a 24-hour bug, she said.

South Canterbury public health officer Daniel Williams said it was a gastro-intestinal disease that was common at this time of year.

"We are in the time of year when people are more likely to be closer together," he said.

This is the type of outbreak that commonly occurs in rest homes, hostels and camps. The best thing people could do was to stay at home if they were experiencing symptoms, not to prepare food and to drink plenty of fluids, he said.

Timaru Boys' High School did not seem to be affected despite several of its students attending the Craighead Ball as partners last weekend.

The Timaru Herald