Parkersburg, WV, May 4, 2018 – With Hepatitis A outbreaks on the rise in the United States, the Mid- Ohio Valley Health Department would like to remind you that Hepatitis A is a vaccine preventable disease.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent Hepatitis A infection. Children are now routinely vaccinated for Hepatitis A and is required for Pre-K admission. Your health care provider can advise you on what is best for your family.
Individuals can get Hepatitis A from close personal contact with someone who has the illness or from encountering food or surfaces and unknowingly ingesting small amounts of human waste that is contaminated with the virus.
A person with Hepatitis A is considered contagious for two weeks before and one week after symptoms start. Hepatitis A can cause liver inflammation. Symptoms include yellowing of the skin or eyes, right upper side abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some may also experience loss of appetite, fatigue, dark urine, light colored stool, headaches or fever. In some cases, death can occur.
Children less than six years old may have no symptoms. If you suspect that you or your family may have been exposed to the virus, contact your health care provider for next steps.
Practicing good handwashing habits is essential in preventing this and other diseases. This includes washing all parts of the hands with warm soapy water, rinsing well with hot water and drying thoroughly. For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/hwfamily.pdf
For general information, please visit CDC website, https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/. To schedule a Hepatitis A vaccine at MOVHD, call 304-485-7374 ext. 118 or check with your health care provider.