Outbreak at 100 cases in NEA since February 2018
PARAGOULD, Ark. – A confirmed case of Hepatitis A was reported Tuesday night at Paragould High School.
Paragould School District has received notification of a confirmed case of Hepatitis A involving a student at the high school, a Facebook post by the school’s administrator said.
The district said it was taking immediate action Tuesday night by cleaning and sanitizing inside the high school. They also said they will be working with the Arkansas Department of Health to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to protect students and staff.
Since February, the Arkansas Department of Health says 100 cases of Hepatitis A have been confirmed in Northeast Arkansas. The worst is in Greene County, then Clay County, and then Craighead County, with cases also reported in Randolph, Lawrence, Independence, Mississippi, Monroe and Lee counties.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is transmitted person-to-person when a person ingests tiny amounts of fecal matter from contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person. The ADH says can also be spread from close personal contact with an infected person, for example, through sex or caring for someone who is ill. Food contamination by hepatitis A can happen at any point – growing, harvesting, processing, handling or even after cooking.
If you have hepatitis A, you may have:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored feces
- Joint pain
- yellowing of the skin and eyes (known as jaundice)
To find out more information about the Hep A outbreak across NEA this year, click here.