Hepatitis concern at Doncaster primary school

Children who are to be offered an emergency Hepatitis A vaccination following a confirmed case at Woodfield Primary School. They are pictured with parents. L>R Marie Hanby, Lauren Gilgeous, Bev Richardson, Lyndon Hanby age 6, Ruby Gilgeous age 5, Keagan Gilgeous age 9

Children who are to be offered an emergency Hepatitis A vaccination following a confirmed case at Woodfield Primary School. They are pictured with parents. L>R Marie Hanby, Lauren Gilgeous, Bev Richardson, Lyndon Hanby age 6, Ruby Gilgeous age 5, Keagan Gilgeous age 9

1
Have your say

Children at a Doncaster primary school are to receive emergency vaccinations for Hepatitis A after a pupil was diagnosed with the disease.

Parents of Woodfield Primary School pupils received a letter on Tuesdsay, July 14, informing them Public Health had confirmed the case.

A second letter was sent on Thursday, July 16, inviting children for an immunisation in school next week, the start of the six week summer break.

Public Health officials were also in school to reassure parents.

However, some parents have accused them of trying to cover-up the problem.

Mum-of-three Lauren Gilgeous, 30, who has two daughters at the school, said: “A parent told the school that her daughter had Hepatitis A in June. When the school told Public Health they told them not to send out a statement to other parents. The woman’s daughter was in hospital and her liver was failing, it was really serious, but she’s okay now.

“They’re saying there’s only one confirmed case, but I know there’s at least six. It’s an outbreak. It’s mostly members of the same family. One girl got it and then passed it on to her mum. It’s brothers, sisters and cousins and it’s spread across the year groups. The husband is still in hospital, I don’t know how he is.”

A spokesman for Public Health denied failing to reveal the full extent of the problem.

Dr Suzanna Matthew, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control, said: “The action at the school is being taken because one of the cases may have been infectious whilst at school recently.

“A very small number of other individuals at the school have evidence of infection in the past, but this does not necessarily mean that they have been infectious whilst at school.

“Whenever a case of hepatitis A is confirmed, it is routine practice for all close contacts of the case to be identified and offered vaccination, if this is found to be necessary.

“Parents can be assured that currently, all necessary public health actions are being taken at the school.”

Hepatitis A is a viral disease, which affects the liver and occurs most often in school children and young adults.

Helen Harrison, the Headteacher at Woodfield Primary, said: “We have always acted in the best interests of the school, parents and most importantly the children in accordance with the advice we have been given from Public Health England.

“The children will always be our prime concern in school and we are taking every measure to protect their health and well-being.”

Jacqui Wiltschinsky, Assistant Director Public Health, said: “Doncaster Council is working closely with the school and Public Health England and precautionary steps are being undertaken.

“We are carefully following the advice of Public Health England and are arranging immunisation against Hepatitis A for all staff and children at Woodfield Primary School.

“This is purely a preventative measure, and we want to address the issue before the start of the summer holidays.

“Adults with Hepatitis A can feel quite unwell, with flu-like symptoms and jaundice. In children and young people, however, it is uncommon to show symptoms and the majority recover, although they can still pass on the infection.

“To stop the spread of Hepatitis A it is important that people wash their hands thoroughly using soap and water after using the toilet and before and after handling food.

“The risk to the public is very low but if anyone has any concerns they can call Public Health England on 01143211177.”

The disease is most commonly spread from person to person by infected faeces stools and poor hygiene, and illness may appear between two to six weeks after contact with an infected person.

Children and staff will be immunised at the school, Gurney Road, Balby, today.

Back to the top of the page