Hepatitis A case at Dagenham primary school
PUBLISHED: 17:15 03 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:15 03 February 2016
Parents are being urged to vaccinate their children after a confirmed case of Hepatitis A at a primary school.
A letter from Public Health England – which was sent out yesterday to parents and carers whose children attend Becontree primary school in Dagenham – states that a pupil has been infected with the viral liver disease.
All children in Years 3 to 6 are being offered vaccinations at the Stevens Road school tomorrow as a “precautionary measure”. The letter also states that younger children do “not require the vaccination as they do not mix closely with the older children”.
Although the infectious illness is most common among young children, they typically have a milder form of the disease than adults. They may not experience symptoms common to adults, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, jaundice, fever and abdominal pain.
Public Health England (PHE) said the patient has now recovered from the illness.
“Hepatitis A infection is uncommon in the UK and cases such as this are usually associated with travel to countries where the infection is more widespread, however in this case there is no link to overseas travel. PHE is working closely with the school and as a precaution all children at the junior school will be offered vaccination.”
Dr Simon Cathcart, Team Lead for PHE’s North East and North Central London Health Protection Team, said:
“We have contacted the parents of all children attending the junior school to inform them of the situation. We have also provided information on the symptoms of hepatitis A and how infection can be prevented with good hygiene. We are advising parents to seek medical advice if these symptoms develop. As a precautionary measure we are offering vaccination to all children in the junior school.
“It is important to stress that hepatitis A does not cause long term liver damage like other hepatitis viruses. Most people usually feel better within a few weeks although others may feel tired and lack energy for many more months.”
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