HEALTH chiefs have issued guidelines on how people can avoid the risk of contracting Hepatitis A after an outbreak in Lye.

Wollescote Primary School headteacher Joanne Quigley yesterday (Wednesday) confirmed two members of the school community were diagnosed with the infectious disease which affects the liver – and Public Health England bosses said they had worked with Dudley Council officials to help manage the outbreak.

Mrs Quigley said the school had followed advice on how to reduce the risk of further infection following the outbreak a few weeks ago and she said staff and students had been reminded of the importance of good hygiene – and she stressed “the issue has been dealt with and we have no concerns moving forward”. 

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Wollescote Primary School - Google Street View

Dr Naveed Syed, consultant with PHE West Midlands Health Protection Team, said health officials had been in touch with schools and community organisations in the area. They have also written to GPs, she said, to inform them of the Hepatitis A cases in the community and to arrange blood tests for any patients they suspect may have the infection.

She added: “Usually the disease is self-limiting; most children who catch it have a mild illness, however some individuals may become more seriously ill if they have other existing medical problems.

“Symptoms may range from virtually nothing (silent infection) to nausea, vomiting, tummy upsets and later dark urine and pale grey stools (motions).

“Transmission occurs through contamination of hands and contact with contaminated surfaces, so washing hands properly before eating and after using the toilet is the most important way to prevent infection.

“We have informed high-risk communities and advised them to deep-clean high-risk settings, and offered vaccination where appropriate.”

She stressed Public Health England was not aware of any further, more recent, cases of Hepatitis A since its intervention.

Go to website to find out more about the symptoms of Hepatitis A and how it can be prevented.