Barking school vaccinated after second Hepatitis A infection
PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 February 2019
All pupils at Eastbury Primary School are being vaccinated after a second case of Hepatitis A.
The initial infection was discovered last year. A year 2 class received the vaccine in December due to their close contact with the infected person.
A second child has now contracted the disease.
Dr Edward Wynne-Evans, a public health consultant and head of Public Health England’s (PHE) local health protection team, said:
“As there have been two cases of hepatitis A at Eastbury Primary School, we have repeated the risk assessment and advised that vaccination against Hepatitis A is widened to all children and staff at the school as a precaution.
“Vaccination was initially recommended for pupils who had been in close contact with the first case but as the second case is in a different year group, that advice has changed.”
“Hepatitis A can be unpleasant but it’s not usually serious and most people make a full recovery within a couple of months.”
Dr Wynne-Evans added that good hygiene, especially hand washing, is important to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A.
A man with a son at Eastbury, who asked not to be named, said he was worried that no one knew the source of the infection: “We’ve got friends that have moved out of the area and so they’re very concerned with their kids, because they don’t know if they’re carrying anything with them.
“We take the kids to school and we’re relying on them for their safety and to be looked after.”
Symptoms of Hepatitis A include feeling tired and generally unwell, joint and muscle pain, a temperature, loss of appetite and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Young children often do not have symptoms despite contracting the disease but can still pass it on to others.
A small initial vaccination has previously been effective in containing an outbreak at a school.
Parents at Parsloes Primary School in Dagenham were concerned when PHE refused to vaccinate the entire school after a case of Hepatitis A in November last year.
While only children from reception to year two were vaccinated, the parents worried older children could be exposed to the disease at break times, when children from all ages share space.
However, there no other cases were reported after the initial vaccination.