Second child diagnosed with Hepatitis A at Rhyl school


Suzanne Jordan

A SECOND child has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A at a Rhyl School.

Public Health Wales is investigating after a child - who attends Ysgol Dewi Sant - contracted the viral infection.

A vaccination is being offered as a precaution to children and staff at the school, as well as to children and carers who attended an after school club.

It is believed that the new case is likely to be connected to the previous diagnosed case of Hepatitis A at the school in January.
Public Health Wales also added that "the timing of the new case suggests that other children at the school may also have had the infection without knowing it."

Dr Graham Brown, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control, Public Health Wales, said: “Public Health Wales is working closely with Denbighshire County Council Environmental Health Officers to investigate a suspected case of Hepatitis A, and to offer advice to parents, school staff and pupils. The risk to the public remains low.

“In younger children, Hepatitis A is usually a mild and short term infection, and in most cases the child will not demonstrate any symptoms. This suggests that other children at the school may have had the infection without knowing it.

“When symptoms do appear they are usually flu-like, and include tiredness, general aches and pains, headaches and fever, as well as loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, jaundice, very dark urine and itchy skin."

Denbighshire County Council Environmental Health Officers and Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board is supporting the investigation.

The school has received public health advice on the control and prevention of infection, including hand washing and disinfection information from Environmental Health Officers.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “We are working  in partnership with Public Health Wales to investigate this case and are acting on their advice.”

Hepatitis A vaccination is not routinely offered on the NHS as the infection is rare in the UK, however, it is "strongly advised" that anyone travelling to a country where the infection is more common (particularly Africa, northern and southern Asia, Central America and southern and eastern Europe) should receive the Hepatitis A vaccination along with any other travel immunisations recommended by their GP.

Ysgol Dewi Sant has sent a letter out to parents about the second case. Anyone with concerns about their health or their child’s health is advised to contact their own GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.

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