SCHOOLS across the borough have been contacted on behalf of Public Health England, after high levels of sickness bug gastroenteritis affecting schoolchildren.

In a statement sent to parents across the borough it states: "Across St Helens, there has been increased reporting of diarrhoea and vomiting in school aged children consistent with viral gastroenteritis.

"This is often caused by Norovirus, a frequent cause of vomiting and diarrhoea in the community during the winter.

"The most common symptom of Norovirus is vomiting. Diarrhoea tends to be short-lived and less severe than with other causes of gastroenteritis.

"Other symptoms include nausea, abdominal cramps, headache, muscle aches, chills and fever."

It added: "The illness is usually self-limiting in nature and gets better without antibiotics, which are not appropriate for viral illnesses.

"Symptoms usually last between one and three days.

"Those reporting diarrhoea and vomiting should exclude themselves from school until 48 hours after the vomiting and/or diarrhoea have stopped.

"This is an important control measure, which aims to limit the spread of this infection to others."

One school is reportedly affected by having 50 children across three year groups being absent in the space of a week.

Have your children been affected?