Virus outbreak sparks warning

AN outbreak of hepatitis A cases has sparked a warning to the South Korean community.

NSW Health urged people to watch for symptoms after eight cases of the virus, which is spread through contaminated food or poor hygiene, were diagnosed in patients of South Korean background since June.
Director Communicable Diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fever and yellowing of the skin, dark urine and pale stools.
“Symptoms may be very mild, especially in young children, but anyone with symptoms should see their doctor right away and not handle food for other people,” she said.
South Korea is experiencing a large outbreak of hepatitis A with more than 11,000 cases reported so far this year, and Dr Sheppeard said that while Australia normally had a very low incidence, it was easily spread from person to person.
“So we are urging people to take particular care with hygiene,” she said.
“This includes washing hands thoroughly in soap and water for at least 15 seconds and drying them thoroughly.”
A hepatitis A vaccine is also available from GPs.