Parents speak out about Hepatitis A outbreak: "Everybody feels abandoned"

Parents speak out about Hepatitis A outbreak: "Everybody feels abandoned"

Published by Lizzy McEllan at 6:43pm 25th June 2019. (Updated at 6:47pm 25th June 2019)

Parents of children at Outwood Academy have expressed their frustration over a "lack of communication" after a Hepatitis A outbreak at the school. 

  • Parents of children at Outwood Academy are frustrated about a lack of communication after a Hepatitis A outbreak at the school
  • 17 cases have now been confirmed - findings suggest the infection has been passed through food in the school canteen, according to Public Health England
  • Parent Jo Nelson said the school hasn't confirmed if a deep clean - advised by PHE - has been carried out
  • She says the school has not responded to absences in the usual way, or responded to an email asking for more information
  • The school said everything parents need to know is on the website and it is busy, which is why it might not have responded to emails yet
  • The school would not provide the headteacher's email address or contact details to Stray FM for further comment

17 cases of Hepatitis A have now been confirmed at the school.

Findings so far suggest the infection may have been passed through food in the school canteen, according to Public Health England.

The school has been advised to carry out a deep clean, but parents claim they have not been told if this has been carried out.

Parent Jo Nelson has a 14-year-old son at the school.

She made the decision to keep him at home on Friday (21 June) and yesterday.

She said:

"We're quite a close knit community and it is definitely a trend that's happening - this lack of communication.

"Everybody is just feeling abandoned really."


A letter was first sent to parents about the outbreak on Wednesday 19 June.

It said two cases had been confirmed.

A second letter was sent the next day to confirm a further eight cases.

Today, a letter has been published on the school's website confirming 17 cases.

You can read the letters on the school's website, in the 'Letters to Parents' section on the homepage.

Jo said she tried to ring the school, but there was no answer.

Her husband sent an email to the school yesterday and has not had a response.

Jo said:

"There's no understanding or reassurances that the school is there for parents.

"The updates are very hollow and don't contain the information that people want to know, which is that the school has been deep cleaned.

"And we still don't know how the families and children are that have been poorly."

Stray FM contacted Outwood Academy for a response.

It said the school is responding to parents, but emails might not yet have been answered because it is a very busy time.

It added everything parents need know is on the website.

The school would not provide contact details for the headteacher or provide any further information.

Three other cases of Hepatitis A have also been confirmed in the Ripon area, but it is not known if they are linked to the school.

Hepatitis A - What you need to know:


  • Hepatitis A is a viral infection which affects the liver and is a different disease from Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

  • Hepatitis A is passed from person to person by eating food or drinking water containing the virus. The virus can spread easily within families and where people live closely together. To reduce the spread of the illness, it is very important to wash your hands after going to the toilet and/or before preparing food.

    The symptoms of Hepatitis A are similar to flu, including mild fever, joint and muscle pain, feeling and being sick, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and stomach pain. This can be followed by jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), dark-coloured urine and itchy skin. Not everyone infected will have all these symptoms

  • Anyone with suspected hepatitis A infection should not attend school or work until their doctor advises return. This is usually for a period of one week.

For more information on hepatitis A, visit the NHS website page.

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