A 25 year old male came home from work not feeling well. He was very fatigued. Later in the evening he developed abdominal pain on the right side beneath his lower ribs. The next day his condition worsened. He experienced a low grade fever, joint pain and intense itching. When he called the doctor they were unable to see him until later in the week. By then the individual started noticing his skin turning yellow and his urine was very dark. When the doctor finally examined him he diagnosed him with Hepatitis A. Blood test confirmed the diagnosis. The individual was admitted to the hospital for treatment.
Recently there has been an increased number of Hepatitis A cases found in our area. According to the Mayo Clinic, Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus is one of several types of hepatitis viruses that cause inflammation and affect your liver’s ability to function.
You’re most likely to get hepatitis A from contaminated food or water or from close contact with a person or object that’s infected. Mild cases of hepatitis A don’t require treatment. Most people who are infected recover completely with no permanent liver damage.
Practicing good hygiene, including washing hands frequently, is one of the best ways to protect against hepatitis A. Vaccines are available for people at risk.
Causes of Hepatitis A
Eating food prepared by someone contaminated by the virus who has not washed their hands after using the toilet.
Drinking contaminated water.
Being in close contact with someone who is infected.
Having sex with someone infected by the virus.
The single, most effective way to prevent the spread of disease is to thoroughly wash your hands. The CDC provides the following recommendation when washing your hands.
Washing Your Hands To Prevent The Spread Of disease
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
These simple steps can help you stay healthy and avoid many common disease.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.