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Two hundred off sick in one day at school

A Sussex school has been hit by mass absence after 200 pupils were off sick on the same day, it has been revealed.

Afifth of youngsters from Willingdon Community School in Eastbourne wereabsent due to various illnesses on Tuesday, including 20 with suspectedswine flu.

While many students were suffering from generalflu and other illnesses, around 20 had been given the antiviral Tamifluto deal with suspected swine flu, a spokeswoman from West Sussex PCTconfirmed.

Headteacher at the mixed comprehensive, IanJungius, said in a statement that the school had experienced "a highlevel of sickness absence towards the end of last week", which wascontinuing.

He said despite a number of pupils sufferingwith suspected cases of swine flu, the school had been advised toremain open "as usual".

The flu director for NHS WestSussex, Peter Hayward, confirmed that some students are being treatedfor suspected swine flu but added that there is no reason for concern.

"Thestudents who are unwell have a relatively mild illness; they are allexperiencing receiving appropriate medical treatment and are recoveringat home," he said.

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West Sussex Primary Care Trust