Employee at Passaic High School in New Jersey diagnosed with Hepatitis A

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Dray Clark live in New Jersey (WABC)

A school employee in Passaic County has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A and officials are urging those who might have been exposed to be aware of possible symptoms.

The Passaic Superintendent of Schools sent letters to parents and staff members alerting them that a high school employee had been diagnosed with the illness by their personal doctor.

Anyone who bought food from the Passaic High School teachers cafeteria between Jan. 15 and Jan. 30th was urged to be on the lookout for symptoms and to contact the superintendent's office.

Symptoms include fatigue, fever and vomiting.

In the letter, superintendent Pablo Munoz said: "The school district immediately notified local health officials about the diagnosis and is currently following every recommendation of these health care professionals. This morning I met with all the school principals, school leaders and staff to discuss this diagnosis of an employee. The school district is sending letters home about the diagnosis of Hepatitis A and providing details about where they can get additional information. While local health officials believe that the chance of students becoming ill is small, we will continue to take every precaution recommended by them."

Munoz told parents that local and state officials believe the chances of children becoming ill is small, but that they should be aware of several facts:

Hepatitis A is an illness of the liver caused by infection with the Hepatitis A virus. The virus is shed in the stool of the infected person.

People become infected with Hepatitis A by swallowing the virus. This can occur when an individual eats or drinks food or water contaminated with Hepatitis A virus, or has direct contact with an infected person who has poor personal hygiene.

An individual infected with Hepatitis A, may display a range of symptoms including:
o Fever
o Fatigue
o Poor appetite
o Vomiting or abdominal discomfort
o Dark colored urine
o Clay-colored (pale) stool
o Yellow discoloration of skin and whites of the eye (a condition known as jaundice)

Young children with Hepatitis A usually do not display symptoms, yet may be a source of infection to close household contacts by sharing food and/or eating or drinking utensils. No specific medications, including antibiotics, are indicated for the treatment of Hepatitis A. Most individuals fully recover, without treatment, within a few weeks.

More information on Hepatitis A:
http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HAV/HAVfaq.htm#protection.

Related Topics:
healthhealthhepatitiseducationnew jersey newsPassaic
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