Outbreak of Hepatitis A at a school in the Netherlands
A teacher and schoolchildren from a primary school in Schoonhoven have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A. All other pupils and members of staff are to be vaccinated to stop the disease from spreading further.
School to vaccinate pupils and staff
At least four children and one teacher from a primary school, De Vlieger, in Schoonhoven have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A. GGD Hollands Midden, the municipal health service, will vaccinate all 220 children and staff to try and stop the disease from spreading further.
Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that leads to inflammation of the liver. It can be transmitted through contaminated food and water or through direct contact with someone who is infected with the virus. It is usually associated with a lack of safe water, poor sanitation and hygiene.
People infected with the disease can expect fever-like symptoms, abdominal pains, loss of appetite, diarrhoea and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes). Not everyone who is infected will display all of the symptoms, especially children below the age of five, who may not display any discolouration. If you think your child might have Hepatitis A, GGD Hollands Midden advises you to see a doctor for a blood test.
Hepatitis A in the Netherlands
Hepatitis A is rare in the Netherlands. There is no treatment for the disease, and it can take up to seven weeks in adults before one becomes really sick. The disease only lasts a few weeks in children, but adults can be ill for months. Those who have had the disease or have an up-to-date vaccination are immune to Hepatitis A.