December 1, 2003
The Mecklenburg County Health Department is notifying
students, faculty and staff at Charlotte's Blythe Legette Elementary School that at least two students have been diagnosed with hepatitis A
infections. Classmates of the infected students have been recommended
for immune globulin (IG) shots to prevent them from getting sick.
This morning, letters from the Health Department are being delivered to
the school for students to take home. The letters inform parents and
guardians of the infected students' illnesses and acquaint them with the
symptoms of hepatitis A infection and preventive measures.
Nurses and staff from the Health Department's Communicable Disease
Control program have already contacted those who may have had more
direct exposure to the infected students. Most have received or have
scheduled appointments for immune globulin shots.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. The virus is present in
bowel movements and can be spread if proper hand washing is not
observed. Hepatitis A is readily preventable through proper hand
washing and hygiene. Immune globulin (IG) injections are offered for
short-term prevention of developing the disease in those who may have
recently been exposed to the virus.
Parents or caregivers are asked to practice careful hand washing,
especially before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet
and to be aware of any symptoms of hepatitis A infection for the next
six weeks. Symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, nausea, loss of
appetite, abdominal discomfort, jaundice, dark-colored urine or
light-colored bowel movements.
Those with questions about hepatitis A infection and its prevention
should contact the Mecklenburg County Health Department's Communicable
Disease Control program at 704-336-5398.
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Media Contact: D.C. Lucchesi at 704-432-0344 or