Health is working closely with ACT Health to investigate the cases, all of
which have been confirmed in residents of South Korean background. The NSW
cases are from South Eastern Sydney, Northern Sydney and Western Sydney.
Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases NSW Health, explained that NSW
Health is also working closely with the NSW Food Authority to determine whether
the cases are linked to a food source.
A is caused by a virus that spreads in contaminated food or through poor
hygiene,” she said.
may include nausea, vomiting, fever and yellowing of the skin, dark urine and
may be very mild, especially in young children, but anyone with symptoms should
see their doctor right away and not handle food for other people.”
Sheppeard said that Australia has a very low incidence of hepatitis A.
“Despite this, hepatitis
A can easily spread from person to person, which is a real risk among the South
Korean community in Sydney at present, so we are urging people to take
particular care with hygiene,” she said.
“This includes washing
hands thoroughly in soap and water for at least 15 seconds and drying them
Washing hands is particularly important after:
to the toilet
soiled linen or items or changing nappies
preparing or eating food.
Korea, where hepatitis A is usually uncommon, is experiencing a large outbreak
of hepatitis A with over 11,000 cases reported so far this year.
doses of vaccine prevents infection, and at least one dose is strongly
recommended prior to travel to countries where hepatitis A poses a risk. The
hepatitis A vaccine is available at GPs.
For further information on hepatitis see our NSW Health factsheet.