Outbreak of Hepatitis in Rhyl

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Around 180 people associated with a primary school in Rhyl will be offered Hepatitis A vaccination following further cases in a local family outbreak of the infection.

A vaccination session for around 150 children and around 30 adults at Ysgol Emmanuel will be held on Wednesday 29 November after a child attending the premises was confirmed to have Hepatitis A.

There are now seven confirmed cases of the infection in the outbreak, all members of the same family.

The outbreak continues to be investigated by Public Health Wales with the environmental health departments of Conwy and Denbighshire county councils. Vaccination at the school is being offered as a precaution as Hepatitis A spreads easily between young children, who will often not have symptoms but can still transmit infection to other people.

The school is co-operating fully with arrangements for vaccination and the child confirmed with Hepatitis A did not contract the infection while at school.

There is no link between this outbreak and an outbreak of Hepatitis A in the Rhyl area reported earlier this year.

Dr Christopher Johnson, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said: “Hepatitis A is a viral infection, usually short lived that has unpleasant symptoms but is rarely serious. Children often only have a very mild illness or do not have symptoms at all. “Symptoms can include flu-like illness such as tiredness, general aches and pains, headaches and fever, as well as loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pains, jaundice, very dark urine and itchy skin.

“Good handwashing after using the toilet and before preparing or eating food is the best way to prevent the virus spreading.

“Children may pass the virus onto others without having symptoms so we are reminding parents to encourage good hand washing at all times.” P

eople are advised to contact their own GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 if they have any concerns about their health or their child’s health.  Hepatitis A vaccination is not routinely offered on the NHS as the infection is rare in the UK. Further information about hepatitis A is available on the Public Health Wales website at http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/43692

Posted on Wednesday 29th November 2017
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