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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Dubai school closed after water contamination scare

German International School has been closed for two days over health concerns
The German International School in Academic City has been temporarily closed due to a possible outbreak of Legionnaire's disease. Reem Mohammed / The National

A Dubai school has temporarily closed after a water contamination scare.

The German International School Dubai has been closed since Sunday after a "possible contamination of water" was discovered.

The school halted lessons as a "precaution" and is working with the UAE authorities over the issue, said a statement issued on its behalf by the German Consulate.

Dubai Municipality has refuted reports of a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak at the premises and the school is expected to reopen as normal on Tuesday.

"The German International School Dubai places highest priority on the health and safety of its community," said a statement issued by the German Consulate.

"Therefore, after a possible contamination of water was discovered, the school has been closed as a matter of precaution.

"The school is in direct contact with the UAE authorities and is co-ordinating all further steps closely with them in accordance with all regulations.

"The school will ensure that the health and safety of pupils, staff and the community at large are strictly safeguarded at all times."

Redha Salman, director of the Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, said there had not been any cases of Legionnaires' Disease in any school in the emirate.

"There is no Legionnaires' Disease in any School and we are not aware of such existence," he said.

Mr Salman said the school had "decided to conduct cleanup and maintenance of the tanks and piping in the school" when concerns were raised.

Legionnaires’ disease is a rare form of pneumonia caused when someone breathes in air that contains legionella bacteria in droplets of water. It does not spread from person to person but is contracted through contaminated water.

The illness develops within two to 10 days of exposure to the bacteria that causes it. Common symptoms include headaches, muscle pain and a high fever.

The school is set to reopen on Tuesday

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Read more:

Legionnaires warning over cleaning of swimming pools and AC in the UAE

Children 'at risk from poor quality of air in schools'

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