5 things you need to know about Hepatitis A

As outbreaks of Hepatitis A are reported in South Florida, the communicable disease is easily spread but preventable.

How does someone contract Hepititis A?

There are two ways to get Hepatitis A, inflammation of the liver. The virus is spread from person to person through close personal contact, or injection drug use. It can also spread through consumption of uncooked foods contaminated with Hepatitis A, as well as cooked foods that are not heated to temperatures capable of killing the virus during preparation. The virus can live outside the body for months, depending on the environmental conditions and infect many people at once. For example, if a food handler at a restaurant is infected, people who ate the food can become infected.

What’s the best way to prevent getting, or spreading, the virus?

Vaccination with the full, two-dose series of Hepatitis A vaccine is the best way to prevent the infection. Also, good hand hygiene — including hand washing after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food — also can help with prevention. To avoid spreading the disease, wash your hands after using the bathroom. Don’t prepare food for others while infected. Avoid sexual activity, which in some instances can spread the infection to a partner.

What are the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.