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Health

Childhood hepatitis outbreak – four more cases in Wales under investigation

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Public Health Wales is investigating four more cases of acute hepatitis among children.

Health officials have identified 17 cases in Wales, an increase of four cases since the last update on 6 May.

UK Health Security Agency launched an investigation in April after hospitals reported a rise in cases of acute childhood hepatitis with no known cause.

Typically, UK hospitals see about 20 cases a year that are not caused by common hepatitis viruses, but cases this year are nearly 10 times higher.

A number of hypotheses are being investigated and the information gathered so far increasingly suggests that the rise in these cases may be linked to adenovirus infection, with other factors likely to be playing a role.

Dr Ardiana Gjini, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said:

“Hepatitis can cause jaundice and inflammation of the liver, so parents and carers should be aware of the symptoms of jaundice – including skin with a yellow tinge which is most easily seen in the whites of the eyes.

“We are reminding the public to familiarise themselves with this and other symptoms of hepatitis in light of these UK cases.

“In addition, the importance of maintaining normal hygiene routines, especially ensuring that children wash their hands properly, help to reduce the spread of many common infections.

“Parents and carers are reminded that they should keep their children away from school and seek advice from a GP or an appropriate specialist if their child experiences any symptoms linked with hepatitis.”

Hepatitis symptoms include:

  • dark urine
  • pale, grey-coloured poo
  • itchy skin
  • yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • muscle and joint pain
  • a high temperature
  • feeling and being sick
  • feeling unusually tired all the time
  • loss of appetite
  • tummy pain

Regular updates on the ongoing investigation into the cases in the UK can be found on the UKHSA website.

Health

Tenby mass vaccination centre temporarily closed due to Long Course Weekend

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TENBY’S mass vaccination centre will be temporarily closed on Saturday 2 July and Sunday 3 July due to the Long Course Weekend.

The vaccination centre, located at Tenby Leisure Centre, SA70 8EJ, will be open Friday 1 July between 10am and 7.30pm for drop-ins.

Other locations are open over the weekend, including Haverfordwest’s mass vaccination centre at the Pembrokeshire Archives (SA61 2PE) which is open for drop-ins between 10:00am and 3:00pm on Saturday 2 July and between 10:00am – 7:30pm on Sunday 3 July.

Tenby mass vaccination centre will continue to operate its regular opening hours of Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00am – 7.30pm the following weekend. Thank you for your understanding.

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Health

Reminder for people to get their spring booster in Wales

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PEOPLE eligible for the spring COVID-19 booster are being urged to get vaccinated before the cut-off date of Thursday 30 June.

Since late March, people aged 75 and over, care home residents, and anyone aged 12 or over who is immunosuppressed have been able to get their spring booster to increase their level of protection against COVID-19.

By taking up the offer of a spring booster now, this allows a sufficient interval between doses, if they are deemed eligible by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for an autumn 2022 booster.

If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a COVID-19 infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days (4 weeks) from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June if they have to postpone their appointment.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said:

“Our high vaccination rates are really encouraging and every vaccination helps people to maintain high levels of protection from COVID-19.

“If you have been offered a spring booster vaccination then please make the effort to arrange your appointment before the 30 June cut-off and continue to keep Wales safe.”

Parents and guardians are also encouraged to check when their children aged 5 to 11 are due their next vaccination.

If a child has recently had COVID-19 when they were offered their vaccination in the early spring, they will be able to be vaccinated after 12 weeks.

Any child who has had their first dose, is encouraged to take up the offer of their second dose before the start of the autumn school term.

We are also encouraging students to complete their full course of two doses before returning to university and college in September to make sure they are as protected as possible.

Check your local health board for full details of how to get vaccinated – https://gov.wales/get-your-covid-19-vaccination

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Health

Drugs warning: Two hospitalised after taking antidepressant Amitriptyline 

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POLICE OFFICERS in Haverfordwest are warning that taking prescription drugs not prescribed to you can be dangerous after two youths needed medical attention.

The youths, from the Haverfordwest area, were taken to hospital overnight, Friday 24th June and  Saturday 25th June, after taking a prescribed drug, believed to be Amitriptyline.

Police are urging anyone who has been offered the medication not to take it as the side effects could be serious.

Inspector Reuben Palin said: “We are aware of youths using prescription drugs not prescribed to them. We believe the youths had been in each other’s company. Like all drug abuse, using prescription drugs for the wrong reasons has serious risks for a person’s health.


“We would appeal to anyone who becomes unwell to seek medical attention immediately.


“Please share this information with anyone that you believe could come into contact with these drugs.”

To seek advice and support, visit https://barod.cymru/where-to-get-help/west-wales-services/ddas-dyfed-drug-and-alcohol-service/. Please be aware that some services may operate an automated service outside office hours.

In an emergency, or if you think someone’s life is at risk, always dial 999.

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