This story was updated on January 31, 2020. Read the update here.
The Citrus County School Board sent out a letter Thursday, January 30, 2020, warning parents that their child “may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.”
The letter was sent home with students from Crystal River Primary.
The school board says the letters were sent “out of an abundance of caution.”
If your child has any of the following symptoms they should see a doctor.
Know hepatitis symptoms:
• Stomach pain
• Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
• No appetite
• Joint pain
• Pale or clay-colored feces
• Dark-colored urine
Know how hepatitis A spreads
Hepatitis A is caused by a contagious virus that infects the liver—it can lead to serious liver problems. The virus spreads through the feces of people who have the virus. If a person with the virus doesn’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom, feces can get on their hands and can transfer to objects, food, and drinks. When these things are shared, other people can unknowingly swallow the virus. If a person who has the virus comes in close contact or touches other people—this includes sex—the virus can also spread.
The virus is mostly spread through fecal matter when a child or adult uses the restroom and doesn’t wash their hands properly.
Oddly enough, the school board does not allow teachers to use Lysol wipes, alcohol-based sanitizers, or other types of cleaners known to kill germs in the classroom. Essentially, leading to germs spreading more rapidly.
The Citrus County Health Department says they recommend students get the Hepatitis A vaccination, although it is not required for school admittance.