Ysgol Emmanuel to undergo Hepatitis A vaccinations following second Rhyl outbreak

Reporter:

Duncan Rieder

More than 170 people in Rhyl will be vaccinated after a second outbreak of a rare virus in the space of a month.

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

The Journal recently reported of four cases of the outbreak confirmed at Fun Days nursery on Seabank Road in Rhyl, leading to a vaccination session for 40 members of staff and children and an outbreak is Ysgol Dewi Sant earlier in the year. However, there is no link between these outbreaks.

This latest bout of Hepatitis A in Rhyl is currently under investigation by Public Health Wales, with the aid of environmental health departments of Conwy and Denbighshire county councils.

Hepatitis A vaccination is not routinely offered on the NHS, as the infection is rare in the UK, however there are now seven confirmed cases of the infection in this outbreak –  all members of the same family.

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.”

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.

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.

Dr Johnson added: “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.

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

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

People 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.

Further information about hepatitis A is available on the Public Health Wales website at http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/43692

Email:

duncan.rieder@nwn.co.uk

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