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Hepatitis A is Spreading Across the Nation

14 Sep 2019 10:00:00 Marshie

Hepatitis A is Spreading Across the Nation

 

 

By Marshie Morgan M & M Biz Solutions blog on September 14, 2019

 

Hepatitis A is a virus running rampant across the United States to epidemic limits this year.  Hepatitis A is rare to cause death however with the numbers so high of infected individuals deaths have resulted in the hundreds. Last week in Colorado it took someone’s life who had a compromised immune system.

WHO, World Health Organization “estimated that in 2016, 7 134 persons died from hepatitis A worldwide (accounting for 0.5% of the mortality due to viral hepatitis). Hepatitis A occurs sporadically and in epidemics worldwide, with a tendency for cyclic recurrences.”

 

Dr. Rachel Herlihy, Colorado’s infectious disease epidemiologist, “This outbreak is not over.” She urges local public health departments that they must continue to vaccinate at-risk populations in their states. During the past year and half, the United States has recorded 24,952 hepatitis A infections and 244 deaths with an average of 60% resulting in hospitalizations.

 

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral liver disease that causes fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, abdominal pain and dark colored urine.  Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingest the virus from food, drinks or objects.  The virus does not grow on food, drinks or objects but in the person’s intestines.  It is spread often times through contaminated food, drinks or objects with undetected amounts of stool (feces) from an infected person which you may not be able to see with the naked eye. 

 

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms you should contact your doctor right away.  Everyone can help stop the spread of hepatitis A by carefully washing your hands with soap and water, including your fingernails for twenty to thirty seconds, after using the restroom or changing diapers and before preparing or eating food.

 

According to WHO, “Who is at risk? Anyone who has not been vaccinated or previously infected can get infected with hepatitis A virus. In areas where the virus is widespread most hepatitis A infections occur during early childhood. Risk factors include:

  • poor sanitation;
  • lack of safe water;
  • living in a household with an infected person;
  • being a sexual partner of someone with acute hepatitis A infection;
  • use of recreational drugs;
  • sex between men;
  • travelling to areas of high endemicity (wide spread) without being immunized.”

Now the kicker is you can be a carrier and not even know you are spreading it.  Therefore, it is important to wash your hands because you cannot kill this virus only prevent it.  This is why health professionals are asking you to get the hepatitis A vaccine.

With over half of the U.S. affected by hepatitis A we have to do our part to stop it.  It has not hit Texas yet, and that is a big yet.  I predict and understand I am no doctor, but I believe this could impact every 

AZ 80

WA 30

TN 100

ID 30

KY 100

NV 40

WV 100

CO 40

OH 90

MO 50

FL 100

AR 60

WA 30

LA 60

state by the end of 2019.  The table illustrates 14 states with the highest cases as of September 12, 2019 from Hep. Hep is an award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by viral hepatitis. Currently there are 14 states that have not been affected, however, as people travel during the holidays it is only a matter of time that it will spread to those states.

 

 

 

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