Tragedy as two children, aged 5 and 6, from same primary school die

Two children from the same primary school have died – aged just five and six.

The pupils both attended the Millstead Primary School in Everton in Merseyside, the Liverpool Echo reports. The headteacher said the school community was ‘devastated’ after their recent deaths and that both children ‘filled their classes with joy’.

The school is currently dealing with an outbreak of cases of an infection called Giardia – a situation being managed by the UK Health Security Agency. The UKHSA said the causes of the deaths of the two children have not been confirmed but that they are ‘unlikely to be due to Giardia’.

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Millstead headteacher Michelle Beard, said: “The entire Millstead School community is devastated to have learned of the sad recent passing of two of our younger children. We have sent our sincerest condolences to both of their families.

“Both children filled their classes with joy during their time with us, and they will forever be in our hearts. We are working closely with our families, staff and pupils to support them as we come to terms with this terribly sad news.”

‘The deaths are unlikely to be due to giardia’

Giardiasis is an infection of the digestive system caused by tiny parasites known as giardia lamblia. The infection can cause symptoms such as diarrhoea, stomach cramps, flatulence and bloating but it is generally not a serious risk to health and can be treated easily with antibiotics.

A spokesperson for the UKHSA said: “UK Health Security Agency are aware of the sad deaths of two children who attend Millstead Primary School and our thoughts are with the family, friends and school community. The deaths are unlikely to be due to giardia.

“Giardia usually causes a self-limiting gastrointestinal illness which can spread easily in households and school settings.” The ECHO first reported on the Giardia outbreak at Millstead last month, with public health measures put in place to try and tackle the number of infections linked to the school, which caters for children with special educational needs.

The ECHO understands that the school closed for a week as it attempted to break the growth in infections. Emma Savage, consultant in health protection for the UKHSA Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Team, said: “Investigations are ongoing, and we have provided information and advice to the school and parents.

“Public health measures have been put in place to help prevent further cases.” Giardiasis can be spread by direct contact with infected people or animals, or from swallowing contaminated water, food or drinks.

Once treated symptoms should stop in about a week but can sometimes last longer. Giardiasis can be prevented by washing hands with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and before handling and eating food.

Children should be encouraged to wash their hands regularly. More information on how to deal with Giardia can be found here:

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