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Lanarkshire hepatitis A outbreak has 61 confirmed cases

NHS have issued a reminder for people to remain vigilant over symptoms.

Outbreak: There has now been 61 confirmed cases of hepatitis A
Outbreak: There has now been 61 confirmed cases of hepatitis A

There are 61 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in an outbreak in Lanarkshire.

The NHS has issued a reminder to locals - particularly those in Airdrie and Coatbridge - to be vigilant for symptoms and signs of an infection.

Dr Femi Oshin, NHS Lanarkshire, 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."

Hepatitis A is a viral infection which leads to inflammation of the liver and can cause mild to severe illness.

The infection is usually a food borne virus which can be spread by hand to mouth contact when there is poor hand hygiene. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of the hepatitis A infection is good hand hygiene, that is thorough hand washing and drying particularly after visiting the toilet and before preparing or eating food.

The infection clears with time and usually there are no long term effects although a very small proportion of people could develop serious complications.

Dr Oshin continued: "The symptoms and signs we are asking people to look out for, which may be due to hepatitis A infection, are a flu-like illness, loss of appetite, nausea, fever, abdominal pains or jaundice.

"Anyone experiencing these should contact their GP or, if out of hours, contact NHS24 by dialling 111."

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