2 students at Cambridge school diagnosed with hepatitis A
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Friday, January 13, 2017 5:30PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 13, 2017 6:48PM EST
Two kindergarten students at a public elementary school in south Cambridge have been diagnosed with hepatitis A, and other children in the same school may be at risk.
In a letter sent to parents of students at Chalmers Street Public School on Thursday, the school’s principal says that parents of students more likely to be at risk will be contacted directly by Region of Waterloo Public Health.
“The primary risk is to children and staff who attend classes and childcare in Rooms 6, 7 and 8 and their families,” the letter reads.
“There is very low risk to the rest of the school.”
Hepatitis A is a virus which can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps, and can turn skin yellow.
Symptoms typically begin to show about four weeks after a patient has been exposed to the virus, although some children can carry the virus without ever displaying symptoms.
The virus can be spread from person to person through contact with unwashed hands. It can also be spread through contaminated food and water.
Unlike hepatitis B and hepatitis C, it is not a chronic illness.
School officials say the classroom used by the infected student has been cleaned thoroughly, as have the school’s washrooms, library and gymnasium, and a deep cleaning of the entire school is scheduled for this weekend.
Additionally, school staff will help ensure that children are washing their hands properly and regularly.
With reporting by Marc Venema