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  Half a school absent with mystery illness
Updated 15 January 2002, 20.47
An empty classroom
A mystery illness has struck at a Cornish school, causing 450 pupils to be off sick.

Almost half the 1,100 pupils at Fowey Community College were suffering from a flu-like illness, according to the local health authority.

The symptoms included fever, runny nose, sore throat, aching muscles and sometimes feeling sick.

Recovering

Health chiefs are trying to find out the cause of the problem and are talking to the children's parents and the school nurse.

None of the children had had to go to the doctor and they were all recovering in a few days.

Samples from some pupils' throats have been sent for analysis but health bosses said it expected the problem was a "common virus".

Eight staff were also infected.

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