Waushara County Health News

Hepatitis A rates increasing in states surrounding Wisconsin

 

Hepatitis A is a liver infection that is caused by the Hepatitis A virus. Anyone can get Hepatitis A, but children and people who live in, or travel to, countries where Hepatitis A is common are more likely to get it. Once you have had Hepatitis A, you cannot get sick from it again.

There are approximately 10-30 cases of Hepatitis A reported in Wisconsin each year. Hepatitis A rates in the U.S. have declined by more than 95 percent since the Hepatitis A vaccine first became available in 1995. In the last 12 months, there have been an increased rate of Hepatitis A reported in Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan, plus a few other states in the US. Due to this occurrence, the Waushara County Health Department is putting out information to try to prevent the spread of the Hepatitis A disease.

Hepatitis A is spread through face-to-face contact with an infected case or through eating food or sharing water or any drink with an infected person. Symptoms usually start around four weeks after contact with the infected person or infected food. Symptoms include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, dark urine, and jaundice or yellow skin and eyes.

Prevention methods in-clude the Hepatitis A vaccine, which is available for children and adults. The vaccine is a two dose series which gives you good protection from the first dose. Washing hands is always the first line of defense with any disease. Lastly, if you are in contact with a person with a positive case of Hepatitis A as described above, close contact or eating food and drink shared or prepared by them, there is one more way to decrease the potential of disease. A person that was exposed can get a dose of Hep A vaccine or Immunoglobulin within 14 days of exposure can head off the disease or lessen the disease process. The Hepatitis A vaccine is available at most provider clinics or if you are eligible, may be obtained at the health department.

 

For more information look at the CDC website or call the Waushara County Health Department at 920-787-6590.