Several cases of hepatitis A contamination in a college in Le Havre

Several cases of hepatitis A contamination in a college in Le Havre
Several cases of hepatitis A contamination in a college in Le Havre

By

Marie Lemaistre

Published on

May 27, 2024 at 2:29 p.m.

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Cases of contamination withhepatitis A were identified among students at the private Montesquieu – Sainte-Marie establishment, in Le Havre (Seine-Maritime). Of the first reports of sick children reached the head of the establishment from Thursday May 23, 2024, indicates to 76- Sylvain Pézier, confirming information revealed by our colleagues at Paris Normandy.

Four reports in the same class

“It was the parents of two classmates who initially called the establishment to report the absence of their children and the first suspicions,” continues the latter.

What is hepatitis A?

The Regional Health Agency indicates that: “Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus which is transmitted from a symptomatic or non-symptomatic person to another person via contaminated hands or food.” And to specify: “Frequently, the disease goes unnoticed and when there are symptoms, they are most often fever, abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, significant fatigue and jaundice. ” She also emphasizes that usually “a blood test can confirm hepatitis. In the majority of cases, hepatitis A heals spontaneously without after-effects. There are rare serious forms, especially in adults.”

A first letter was sent to the parents of the class concerned as of Thursday noon, with initial information and prevention concerning suspected cases. “I informed my superiors and then the ARS contacted me and we remained in continuous contact,” said the principal.

A immediate health protocol was applied. This mainly consists of frequent hand washing using hydroalcoholic gel, available in each class: “upon entering the establishment, at the beginning and at the end of each lesson. At the same time, continuous cleaning of the establishment is carried out by the maintenance staff. »

The principal indicates that he had confirmation from the ARS on Friday evening of information to be transmitted to families. “To my knowledge there are four cases identified. I did not want to communicate beforehand so as not to raise questions among parents that we would not have been able to answer during the weekend. »

A health protocol put in place

Monday May 27, all families in the establishment received two letters, one from the ARS and the other from the head of the establishment, via the Pronote platform. The agency’s communication explains what this disease is and how to protect yourself from it. The students will also leave with a paper version to take home, promises the principal.

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The principal insists that all the measures taken have been validated by the ARS. “The news concerning the students is rather reassuring. » He also wished not to disclose the class of the children concerned. “They are children, they must be protected,” he recalls.

An ongoing epidemiological investigation

Contacted, the ARS confirms having been informed “of several cases of hepatitis A” in this college and that reinforced hygiene measures have been advised and implemented at the establishment level in order to avoid transmission.

“Following these reports, an epidemiological investigation carried out by the Normandy Regional Health Agency and Santé Publique France around the cases is in progress. An update could be carried out at the end of the week,” she points out.

The ARS would like to point out that hepatitis A is a notifiable disease: “any case of hepatitis A must be reported to the ARS Normandy health monitoring and security platform. »

The agency concludes by saying that health professionals in Le Havre and laboratories will also be informed by ARS Normandy “in order to set up an active search for potential cases”.

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