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Increased hepatitis A infections on the Baltic island of Rügen
In the past two months, more and more people on Rügen have contracted jaundice, reports the district of Western Pomerania-Rügen in a current press release. In order to prevent the spread of hepatitis A diseases, the people affected were isolated and "extensive vaccinations (so-called vaccination vaccinations) were carried out on the close contacts of the sick," the official announcement.
According to the Vorpommern-Rügen district, at least nine people have developed jaundice (hepatitis A) on the Baltic Sea island since December last year. Public health officer Jörg Heusler explained that the patients were isolated and around 300 close contacts had been vaccinated against the contagious hepatitis A virus. In addition, extensive information materials were distributed. "In each individual case, the health service immediately contacted the sick, their families or the facilities they visit, as soon as the disease becomes known," reports the district of Vorpommern-Rügen.
Nine jaundice cases on Rügen since December In December, the first hepatitis A infection in a child was found to be "visiting the daycare center in Bergen," the authorities said. Since then, other jaundice cases have "occurred in families, schools and dormitories in the towns of Bergen, Patzig, Sassnitz and Prora." According to the district of Vorpommern-Rügen, all infections could be linked to the first sick child. To date, around 500 close contacts have been identified, of whom almost 300 have received vaccinations. However, "with every new case of illness, the number of close contacts continues to increase" and the risk of spreading hepatitis A infections increases, reports the district.
Hepatitis A vaccinations for contact persons Therefore "the specialist health service in coordination with the State Office for Health and Social Affairs and the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians asked for support of the doctors working in the branch." All close contact persons were offered a hepatitis A vaccination, whereby After only two weeks, about 95 percent of those vaccinated had vaccination protection. In addition, "special hygiene measures are required in the relevant community facilities and households of sick people." The district advises the contact persons to urgently consult their family doctor or pediatrician. The same applies when the typical jaundice symptoms appear.
Symptoms of jaundice disease Hepatitis A infections cause inflammation of the liver, which "after an incubation period of two to seven weeks initially manifests itself in general symptoms such as headache, body aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, pressure in the upper abdomen, fever and occasional diarrhea", warns the district of Vorpommern-Rügen. Increased liver values can also indicate hepatitis A disease. In addition, "the yellow coloring of the eyes and skin that is decisive for the name of the disease" can be observed, according to the authorities. In childhood, the disease is usually milder than in later years, often completely asymptomatic and heals without consequences in a large part of those affected. The sick children were “already contagious two weeks before the first symptoms appeared up to one week after the appearance of the yellow color.” (Fp)