The Alabama Health Department announced Wednesday that it is investigating an increase in Jackson County hepatitis A cases. Health officials say the outbreak could have spread to surrounding counties in northern Alabama.
Public health authorities are calling for vaccinations for the most at-risk people, including those who consume illegal drugs and homeless people.
from this investigation, but we need to make sure that everyone knows how important it is to get vaccinated and take health precautions, including good hand washing, "said Dr. Karen Landers.
Hepatitis A, a virus, which is transmitted through oral contact with fecal matter attacks the liver causing fever, headache, fatigue, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and jaundice.
Health officials said hepatitis A could spread easily if good hand washing practices were not followed. [1
- Get vaccinated.
- Wash your hands after bathing, before preparing meals or eating meals, and after touching something unclean.
- 19659009] Do not scrub food, drinks, cutlery, cigarettes, towels, toothbrushes or drug supplies.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis A?
Older children and adults typically have symptoms. Symptoms may develop abruptly and may include:
- loss of appetite
- abdominal pain
- diarrhea9] tinted stool
- joint pain  Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
Who has hepatitis A?
Although in the United States someone may get hepatitis A, certain groups of people are at higher risk, such as:
- Persons in direct contact with someone who has hepatitis A.
- Travelers in Countries where hepatitis A is common
- Men who have sexual contact with men
- Persons using drugs, both injections and non-injectables,
- Household members or caregivers of a recent country, in
- People with coagulation factor disorders, such as hemophilia,
- People who work with non-human primates
Who should be vaccinated against Hepa? titis A?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends hepatitis A vaccination for the following:
- All children over the age of 1
- Travelers in countries where hepatitis A is common
- Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
- Men who have sexual encounters with other men
- Consumers of recreational drugs, whether injected or not
- People with chronic or long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
- Persons with coagulation factor disorders
- Persons in direct contact with others who suffer from hepatitis A
- Any person wishing to obtain immunity (protection)
PDF: Hepatitis A Information Sheet