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Hepatitis A outbreak declared in Vale of Glamorgan

Public Health Wales is currently investigating an outbreak of seven confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in people living in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

The declaration of an outbreak follows the spread of infection beyond a cluster of five cases that led to recent vaccination sessions in schools in Penarth and Barry.

The two new cases of Hepatitis A are not in children attending either of these schools, and both have direct links to the original five cases.

Public Health Wales continues to work closely with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and the environmental health team at Shared Regulatory Services (SRS) Wales to investigate the outbreak and to offer advice to close contacts of the patients.

Dr Rhianwen Stiff, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said: “All of the patients confirmed with Hepatitis A can be linked to one another, and there is no evidence of a wider public health risk at this time.

"Hepatitis A is a viral infection that may cause flu-like illness or gastrointestinal upset. Hepatitis A can be unpleasant, but it's not usually serious and most people make a full recovery within a couple of months. Children often only have a very mild illness or do not have symptoms at all.

“The best way to prevent infection spreading is to encourage good hand washing at all times, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing or eating food.

"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.”

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.