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  1. ITV Report

Hepatitis A outbreak at North Yorkshire secondary school

The outbreak happened at Outwood Academy in Ripon Credit: ITV News

Public Health England (PHE) is investigating a Hepatitis A outbreak at a secondary school in North Yorkshire.

Eight individuals at Outwood Academy in Ripon are being treated for the viral infection. Two of the cases involve staff although it is not clear whether the others affect pupils.

Dr Simon Padfield, consultant in communicable disease control at PHE Yorkshire and the Humber, said: "We can confirm that eight cases of Hepatitis A have been confirmed recently in individuals at North Yorkshire secondary school.

"Those affected are being treated and are recovering."

Parents of pupils at the school, and staff members, have been informed about the cases and reassured that any health risk is low. Hepatitis A is usually a mild illness, though it can be more serious in adults, if left untreated.

Children often don't show any symptoms, though they can pass on the infection to others.

– Dr Simon Padfield

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is passed from one person to another by eating food or drinking water containing the virus. It can spread easily within families and where people live closely together.

The virus is passed out in the faeces of an infected person and so it is very important to wash your hands after going to the toilet and/or preparing food.