Hepatitis A confirmed in Royal Oak student

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Royal Oak High School

Hepatitis A has been confirmed in a Royal Oak High School student, according to district officials.

Royal Oak High School Principal Michael Giromini told parents in a letter Wednesday they should watch their children for symptoms of the disease over the next several weeks.

Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County Health Division, confirmed the school reported the hepatitis A case. She said its common practice to have schools send home a letter to parents when a disease like hepatitis A or chicken pox is detected.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is caused by a virus. The disease can range from a mild illness to a severe sickness that can last several months. 

Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark urine, fever, chills and jaundice. It can take weeks for the symptoms to show up. Anyone with the symptoms should seek medical attention.

Stafford said if a parent's child has not yet been vaccinated against hepatitis A, they should take him to get one.

Michigan is in the middle of a hepatitis A outbreak.

Between April 18 and August 2016 when the outbreak began, there have been 815 cases of hepatitis A reported, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Of those cases, there has been 25 deaths and 657 hospitalizations, according to state officials.

Macomb County has the most confirmed cases of hepatitis A in the state with 218. Oakland has the fourth highest number of cases for Michigan counties with 110.