South West Wales

Hepatitis B outbreak in Swansea investigated

Health officials are investigating after an outbreak of Hepatitis B in Swansea.

Four people have been diagnosed with the infection, which spreads through bodily fluids and can cause permanent liver damage.

Dr Jörg Hoffmann, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control at Public Health Wales, urged concerned patients to contact their GP.

Possible links between the four cases are being investigated, he said.

Public Health Wales is working with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board to investigate the source.

Dr Hoffmann said: "Hepatitis B is a viral infection that spreads through bodily fluids and can cause long-term liver damage.

"Anyone who believes they may have come into contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is infected should seek advice from their GP.

"People at increased risk of contracting Hepatitis B include anyone who has had unprotected sex with an infected person, injecting drug users who share needles and people who have travelled to countries where Hepatitis B is common.

"The public are reminded of the importance of not having unprotected sex with new partners."

Dr Hoffman said that in 2010 there were 200 confirmed cases of Hepatitis B in Wales.

A vaccine is available for those at increased risk.

Public Health Wales would not comment on the condition of the four individual patients.

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