~A vaccine-preventable illness~
History and Background
According to the CDC, before a vaccine for HAV became available, more than 250,000 people were infected with Hepatitis A each year. The first Hep A vaccine became licensed in 1995.
-Loss of appetite
-Dark colored urine
-Clay colored bowel
Symptoms usually occur 2-6 weeks after exposure and can last up to 2 months.
According to Mayo Clinic, only in very rare cases hepatitis A can cause loss of liver function. This is more likely to occur in an adult that has a preexisting liver problem. This acute liver failure will require hospitalization for monitoring and possible treatment. In extreme cases, patients that acquire acute liver failure may need a liver transplant.
Prevention and recommended control measures
Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent infection. The vaccine is generally given in two doses with an original vaccine first and a booster vaccine 6 months later.
CDC recommends the following individuals receive a hepatitis A vaccine:
- All children at age 1
- Lab workers who are at risk to come in contact with hepatitis A
- Men who have sex with men
- People traveling to areas of with high rates of hepatitis A
- People who use injected and non-injected drugs
- People who receive treatment with clotting-factor concentrates
- People with chronic liver disease
Be sure to practice safety precautions when traveling. Do not drink beverages of unknown purity and be sure to wash produce. Choose bottled water if available.
Also, be sure to practice good hygiene. Wash hands thoroughly.