A deep clean has been carried out at a Moray school after almost all the pupils and staff fell ill with the same symptoms.
A sickness bug at Tomintoul Primary School was the catalyst for spiralling absences through the week before education bosses decided to shut the building a day early for the Christmas holidays.
Cleaning staff arrived at the rural village school yesterday morning to commence the extensive process, which lasted for most of the day.
Classrooms, corridors and toilets were sterilised during the operation to ensure harmful germs were eradicated and the building was ready for children to return in the new year.
Moray Council insisted the deep clean had been done as a “precaution” and the school was not thought to be the cause of the outbreak.
It is understood pupils and staff had attended an event in the village together earlier in the week.
Speyside Glenlivet councillor Pearl Paul praised the authority for taking action following the outbreak.
She said: “I’m sure the council will have the school inspected once it has been thoroughly cleaned and it will be ready to open again after the holidays.
“It’s obviously something that has gone round them all. I just hope it doesn’t spoil Christmas too much for them and they recover in time to enjoy the holidays.”
Nobody was reported with the illness on Monday, but 25 pupils called in sick on Tuesday, as the prelude to 53 students and staff being laid low on Wednesday.
The school is expected to open again as normal in January following the Christmas holidays.
A Moray Council spokesman added: “A deep clean operation has been undertaken at Tomintoul Primary School following 40 children and 13 staff falling ill.
“It is a precautionary measure and is in accordance with NHS guidelines when dealing with such an outbreak.”