Parents and caregivers of students at Lexington’s Millcreek Elementary have been alerted to a single case of Hepatitis A. The patient is receiving care and the school has been thoroughly cleaned. Now health officials are concentrating on following up on the case.
Because of health privacy regulations, officials can’t identify if the infected person is a student or staff member. While people often contract hepatitis A by eating or drinking contaminated food, Health Department Spokesman Kevin Hall says it can also be spread easily through close quarters like a classroom. “Poor hygiene, close quarters, not washing their hands and it’s getting spread that way. Right now, we’re not sure how this one has been spread, but because it is in a classroom, you have close quarters, we are taking those steps to make sure people get protected,” said Hall.
Students in the particular classroom involved are being vaccinated.
While Hepatitis B and C can result in chronic problems, Hall says Hep A doesn’t usually have long term consequences. Starting next school year, all students will be required to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A.