The Cabell Huntington Health Department is closely working with a small community in the Milton area to monitor the Hepatitis A outbreak. To date there have been 11 confirmed Hepatitis A cases which include children and adults. A special clinic was held on Tuesday, December 28th at Chestnut Grove Fellowship Hall on Barkers Ridge Road from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM. This clinic was held to educate and vaccinate those community members who are currently at risk.
Vaccine was offered free of charge for those children and adults who attended the clinic. 106 people were vaccinated on December 28th, 2010. The health department is currently working to identify ALL potential contacts. Persons recently exposed (within 2 weeks) to a confirmed case of hepatitis A should receive prophylaxis (vaccine or immune globulin) and it is available for adults and children. If you or your child is a potential contact a health department official will contact you.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus, which is found in the stool (bowel movement) of an infected person. People with hepatitis A can be very sick and usually need to see a doctor in order to get better. There is no treatment for hepatitis A however; Hepatitis A is a vaccine preventable disease.
Hands that have not been washed after going to the bathroom or by touching items such as diapers or linens soiled by bowel movement spread this disease from person to person. It can also be spread by water or ice and by eating foods that may have become contaminated during handling. Hepatitis A can also be spread by sharing items such as eating utensils, cups, cigarettes, lip balm or other items used to take drugs
·Loss of appetite
·Yellowing of the skin and eyeballs (jaundice)
·Diarrhea or Abnormal stools (pale & floating)
How can hepatitis A be prevented?
·Always wash your hands after using the bathroom.
·Always wash your hands after cleaning the toilet.
·Always wash your hands after changing diapers
·Always wash your hands after handling soiled towels or linens.
·Always wash your hands before fixing food or eating
·If exposed to hepatitis A, ask you doctor about immune globulin.
·If traveling to areas where hepatitis A is common get an immune globulin or vaccination before travel, drink bottled beverages, and do not eat uncooked fruits or vegetables, unless you peel them yourself.