Hepatitis A outbreak in Zuid-Holland city; primary school to be vaccinated

At least four children and one teacher at primary school De Vlieger in Schoonhoven have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A, school director Mireille Burema confirmed to Omroep West. To prevent the outbreak spreading further, municipal health service GGD Hollands Midden will vaccinate all 220 pupils and staff against the infectious disease.

GGD Hollands Midden advises parents who think their child might have Hepatitis A to go to their doctor for a blood test.

Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that can cause inflammation of the liver. The virus is transmitted through stool, for example via the toilet seat or bathroom door handle. People who have the disease get a fever, abdominal complaints, and a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. The disease is less noticeable in young children up to the age of five, in which no discoloration may occur.

The disease is rare in the Netherlands. There are no medicines to treat Hepatitis A and it can take up to seven weeks after infection for a patient to really become sick. In children, the disease lasts a few weeks. Adults can be sick for months. People who have Hepatitis A are already contagious a week before showing symptoms.

People who had the disease before or have a still valid vaccination are immune to Hepatitis A.