Two additional cases of Hepatitis A have been diagnosed as part of the ongoing outbreak, with all cases have links that can be traced back to Ysgol Glyn Gaer in Caerphilly, where the first patients were identified in April. This brings the total of confirmed cases to 15 and one further suspected case is being investigated.
Successful vaccination sessions have been held both in that school and at Ysgol Rhydywaun, a secondary school in Rhondda Cynon Taf where some of the cases are pupils.
One of the latest cases was working at the Carmarthen Livestock Centre Cafe, near Carmarthen on 1, 2, 8 and 9 June, and because the infection can be transmitted through food, people who ate there on those dates are advised to see their GP if they develop symptoms.
The premises has co-operated fully with the investigation and is known not to be the source of either the wider outbreak or the illness in the member of staff.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection, usually short lived, which has unpleasant symptoms but is rarely serious. Children often only have a very mild illness.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A 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.
Anyone who ate at the Carmarthen Livestock Centre Cafe, near Carmarthen, on the 1, 2, 8 or 9 of June and who has symptoms of hepatitis A infection is urged to contact their own GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.
Heather Lewis, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said: “We are aware that Hepatitis A can be spread via food products so customers may have been, exposed to the infection at the Carmarthen Livestock Centre Cafe, near Carmarthen, earlier this month.
“Vaccine would not prevent infection at this stage after exposure so customers cannot be offered vaccination to prevent infection.
“Although the infection is usually mild, if people develop symptoms that may be Hepatitis A they should see their GP.
“As we have already seen in this outbreak, the infection can spread to close contacts and so knowing about new cases at an early stage helps us to take steps to prevent more people becoming unwell.
“It is important that people continue to help us prevent the virus spreading. The single most important thing everyone can do is to ensure they use good hand washing techniques after using the toilet and before preparing or eating food.”
Hepatitis A vaccination is not routinely offered on the NHS as the infection is rare in the UK, with only 12 reported cases in Wales in 2015.
However, it is advised that anyone travelling to a country where the infection is more common (particularly Africa, northern and southern Asia, Central America and southern and eastern Europe) should receive the Hepatitis A vaccination along with any other travel immunisations recommended by their GP.
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