Deaths of two children from same Liverpool primary school 'unlikely' to be due to infection

  • ITV News' Kerry Foran sent the latest from the school

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

But, the health specialists said the deaths are "unlikely" to be linked to an outbreak of an infection at the site, which the school is currently dealing with.

The children, believed to have been aged five and six, attended Millstead Primary School in Everton, a school for children with special educational needs.

The headteacher of the school said the community was 'devastated' after the recent deaths and that both children "filled their classes with joy".

Millstead Primary is currently dealing with an outbreak of cases of Giardia, an infection of the digestive system, a situation being managed by the UK Health Security Agency.

The school first sent a letter to parents warning of the infection on 21 May where they confirmed two cases of the illness and urged anybody with symptom to consult their GP.

The letter added "most cases resolve after two to three weeks".

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".

The headteacher of the school said the community is 'devastated'. Credit: Liverpool Echo

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, the agency said.

Emma Savage, Consultant in Health Protection for our Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Team, 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."

Giardiasis is an infection of the digestive system caused by tiny parasites known as giardia lamblia.

Speaking about the deaths of the two young children who attended her school, 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."

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