The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) is working closely with Health Protection Scotland (HPS) in response to an outbreak of Hepatitis A in the Lanarkshire area.
The food-related outbreak, mainly affecting the Airdrie and Coatbridge areas of North Lanarkshire, is being managed by NHS Lanarkshire supported by Health Protection Scotland and other agencies. As a precautionary measure, to ensure the safety of Scotland’s blood supply SNBTS has put a temporary restriction on donations from donors living in the ML5 and ML6 postcode areas.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection which leads to inflammation of the liver and can cause mild to severe illness. The infection clears with time and usually there are no long-term effects. A very small proportion of people infected with Hepatitis A could develop serious complications. It is normally passed on by hand to mouth contact of something that has been contaminated by the faeces (stools) of someone with hepatitis A.
In addition to restriction on donations from the Airdrie and Coatbridge areas, two scheduled community collection sessions in Coatbridge in June have been cancelled. SNBTS is also recalling all blood products donated from donors in the ML5 and ML6 postcodes during the time scale of the outbreak, to ensure there is no spread through blood transfusion.
These measures are simply precautionary measures and are in place temporarily to help ensure the outbreak does not spread.
If you are concerned or have any questions about Hepatitis A, please visit the NHS Choices website or call the dedicated helpline for NHS Lanarkshire on 0800 028 2816 (open daily from 8am to 10pm).