Students at Pasco County school potentially exposed to hepatitis A

Pasco County

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Students at a Fivay High School may have been exposed to hepatitis A after one of them tested positive for the virus, officials said.

The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County sent a letter to parents and guardians, urging them to review their child’s vaccination records to make sure they’ve received the recommended hepatitis A vaccine.

“Your child may have been exposed to a confirmed case of Hepatitis A. The Florida Department of Health in Pascdo County is working with teh shool to implement measures, including education and the importance of hygiene, environmental cleaning and staff education,” the letter reads. 

Children who are not vaccinated can get the vaccine from their pediatrician or from the health department located at 10841 Little Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654.

An appointment is not necessary. Parents must bring a letter from the school to get their child vaccinated at no cost. 

Hepatitis A is a viral illness that affects the liver and causes fever, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, jaundice or yellowing of skin and eyes and dark urine.

The infection is often spread by touching objects contaminated with feces and then touching the mouth or food. 

Washing your hands and getting the vaccination are the best defense to not contracting the virus, according to Melissa Watts, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County. 

If your child is experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A, the DOH recommends keeping them home from school and calling a health care provider. 

Parents with questions can call the DOH-Pasco Epidemiology Program at 352-521-1450. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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