More children in Portsmouth to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A

Children will be vaccinated against Hepatitis A after another outbreak at a school in Portsmouth
Children will be vaccinated against Hepatitis A after another outbreak at a school in Portsmouth
Oakley Wythe from Cottage Grove Primary School in Southsea

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ANOTHER group of children is going to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A after a child was diagnosed with the infection.

Parents and children at Isambard Brunel Junior School in North End were told about the child’s diagnosis yesterday.

Now, one class of Year 6 children is going to be vaccinated to prevent further spread of the infection.

Iain Gilmour, headteacher at Isambard Brunel Junior School, said: ‘The health and wellbeing of our school community is our priority.

‘We are working with Public Health England who is offering vaccinations to a small number of our children as a precautionary measure.

‘Good hygiene offers protection and prevents the spread of infection. We always encourage good hand washing and this has been further reinforced this week.’

Public Health England (PHE) is investigating.

It comes after children at two Southsea schools were vaccinated against the infection after children were diagnosed in November.

Children at Devonshire Infant School and Fernhurst Junior School received vaccinations.

The Wessex PHE Centre has recommended that close contacts of the case, including household, children and staff attending the same class, should receive Hepatitis A vaccination to prevent further spread of this infection.

The viral infection, which is uncommon in England is often associated with foreign travel. It can cause a range of illness from mild, non-specific nausea and vomiting through to hepatitis (liver inflammation, jaundice, or icterus) and in rare cases liver failure.

The illness in young children may often be very mild or they may not show any symptoms at all but it can be passed to others. For this reason, a small sample of saliva will be taken from children in the school community.

The likelihood of spread of this infection in the school environment is low, however as a precaution, all parents have been advised of the signs and symptoms.

PHE has advised that good handwashing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of this infection as well as seeking travel health advice before going on holiday. Letters have also been sent to local GPs, alerting them to the possibility of infection and asking that they report any possible cases.