Suspected and confirmed cases of swine flu among pupils and staff at west Wiltshire secondary schools are increasing.

Of the seven west Wiltshire secondary schools, most are now reporting cases of the illness with 12 students from Clarendon College in Frome Road, Trowbridge, taking anti-viral drug Tamiflu and four members of staff at George Ward School in Shurnhold, Melksham, confirmed as having the virus.

Steve Clark, headteacher at George Ward, said: “We have a number of students and staff who have been diagnosed by the medical profession as having swine flu, some of them have been prescribed Tamiflu. It is not having an impact on the operation of the school.”

A spokesman for Kingdown School in Warminster said it had four suspected cases among staff and pupils, while Matravers School in Westbury had its first suspected cases this week, although they would not confirm how many.

St Augustine’s Catholic School in Wingfield Road, Trowbridge, said children being were sent home for various ailments this week, including a few suspected cases of swine flu.

However Karen Diffey, bursar at the John of Gaunt School in Wingfield Road, Trowbridge, said: “No one has contacted the school to confirm diagnosis by a GP or hospital.”

All state schools are remaining open following advice from Wiltshire Council, NHS Wiltshire and the Health Protection Agency. Warminster School and Stonar School in Atworth said they had no reports of the illness when their terms ended.

In north Wiltshire, secondary schools in Chippenham, Corsham and Calne have all reported confirmed or suspected cases of the virus, which has killed 17 people nationally.