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Clean hands campaign launched after Ripon Hepatitis A outbreak

Clean hands campaign launched after Ripon  Hepatitis A outbreak

Published by David Dunning at 2:28pm 12th July 2019. (Updated at 2:31pm 12th July 2019)

Public health experts in North Yorkshire have launched the ‘Clean hands – a recipe for health this summer’  hand hygiene campaign as cases of Hepatitis A in Ripon remain under investigation.

Further cases of Hepatitis A throughout the summer are a possibility.

Hand washing with soap and water is a simple and effective way to prevent the virus and ensure overall health

Local food businesses are also reminded of the importance of good food handling practices and hygiene standards, as Hepatitis A can be passed on by eating food or drinking water containing the virus.

Anyone with suspected Hepatitis A are reminded not to prepare food for others.


The reminder is issued as Public Health England Yorkshire and the Humber, North Yorkshire County Council and local NHS organisations continue to investigate an outbreak of Hepatitis A in Ripon, with cases now totalling 29 since 19 June.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health at North Yorkshire County Council said:

“It’s encouraging that in recent weeks, the outbreak of hepatitis A has slowed down but we cannot become complacent and the possibility of further cases throughout the summer remains.

Hepatitis A virus can also spread easily within families and where people mix closely together.

Summer gatherings, day trips, holidays, play dates – they’re all an important part of us enjoying a fun and memorable summer and we understand that it’s not always easy to fit hand washing into these busy summer days.

But we want everyone to enjoy these events safely and our hands really are the leading carriers of germs.

Hand washing with soap and warm water is a simple and effective way to ensure overall health throughout the summer break.

We urge everyone to keep this in mind and practice regular hand washing, however they plan to spend the summer.

Local food businesses are also reminded of the importance of good food handling practices and hygiene standards, particularly as Hepatitis A is passed from person to person by eating food or drinking water containing the virus.”



Everyone should wash their hands:

After using the toilet
After handling raw foods like chicken, meat and vegetables
Before eating or handling ready to eat food
After having contact with animals, including pets

Washing your hands properly should take about as long as singing "Happy Birthday" twice (around 20 seconds).

Wet your hands with water (warm or cold).
Apply enough soap to cover all over your hands. You can use alcohol-based handrub if you don't have immediate access to soap and water.
Rub hands palm to palm.
Rub the back of your left hand with your right palm with interlaced fingers. Repeat with the other hand.
Rub your palms together with fingers interlaced.
Rub the backs of your fingers against your palms with fingers interlocked.
Clasp your left thumb with your right hand and rub in rotation. Repeat with your left hand and right thumb.
Rub the tips of your fingers in the other palm in a circular motion, going backwards and forwards. Repeat with the other hand.
Rinse hands with water (warm or cold).
Dry thoroughly, ideally with a disposable towel.
Use the disposable towel to turn off the tap.

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