THE village of Lomnička in eastern Slovakia has been struck by a massive outbreak of Hepatitis A. As many as 168 children were taken to local hospitals on October 15. Epidemiologists have said the outbreak in Lomnička, which is in the Stará Ľubovňa district, is of an extent not experienced in Slovakia for years, the Sme daily wrote.
Health workers have set up a health centre in Lomnička to aid the inflow of patients, many of whom are children.
The 2,100-strong village avoided Heptatis A for decades. According to Sme, its residents are completely Roma except for 16 people. More than half of the population are children, which are more prone to catching the contagious disease.
Štefánia Kolcúnová, the head of the department for epidemiology of the Regional Office of Public Health in Stará Ľubovňa, ascribes the outbreak of the disease to poor hygiene.
Doctors vaccinated most of the children in Lomnička after the first cases of hepatitis A occurred in the region, but the disease developed into an epidemic despite this. Kolcúnová said the children might have been infected with the disease before the vaccination, the ČTK newswire wrote.
20. Oct 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by the Spectator staff from press reports