The number of hepatitis A cases has grown by nearly 20 cases in Lanarkshire, Scotland in the past two weeks, according to health officials Friday, prompting NHS Lanarkshire’s Department of Public Health to remind the public to look out for the symptoms and signs of hepatitis A infection.

Hepatitis A/CDC
Hepatitis A/CDC

The total cases confirmed as of May 19 is 61.

Investigations indicate a link to the JB Christie bakery in Airdrie and in line with public health guidance, environmental health and public health staff are carrying out further investigations.

While the risk of contracting an infection is low, as a precautionary measure, anyone who ate bakery products which were produced by JB Christie between Monday 20 March and Thursday 13 April and who experiences a flu-like illness, loss of appetite, nausea, fever, abdominal pains or jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes or skin), should contact their GP or, if out of hours, contact NHS24 on 111.

Dr Femi Oshin, NHS Lanarkshire consultant in public health medicine, said: “Some people who have become infected with hepatitis A, can feel well and have no symptoms for several weeks prior to developing symptoms and becoming unwell. However, during this time they can be infectious to others.

“Others – especially younger children and babies – may become infected and not develop any symptoms, yet may be infectious to others for several weeks.

“This is why we are continuing to raise awareness of the infection to help us identify other possible cases so that treatment can be provided if appropriate and to prevent further spread of the infection.”