(Mirror Daily, United States) – More than 12 cases of hepatitis A infection have been recently reported in Oahu and scientists have not established the cause of this outbreak yet.
According to doctors, hepatitis A is a very contagious virus which attacks the liver, and it has symptoms such as yellow eyes and skin, diarrhea, dark urine, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, fatigue, and fever.
These symptoms can manifest for a prolonged period of two weeks and two months. The virus is transmissible through sexual/personal contact, contaminated drinking water or food, and it is most usually found in the stool of infected persons.
Health officials strongly recommend people to visit their doctors as soon as they have experienced any of these symptoms. Unfortunately, the incubation period of this disease varies between 15 and 50 days, meaning that is hard to give an early diagnose of the disease.
Worse, it significantly lowers the chances of finding out from where the virus was contacted. The Department of Health announced that this might be just the beginning of the outbreak, so more cases will most likely be reported until the leading cause is found.
Hepatitis A is also known as the disease of dirty hands because it is strongly related to hygiene. According to Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist, doctors have to ask patients a lot of questions to establish the possible places from where people might have gotten infected.
Park underlined that everyone is encouraged to make a preemptive check to see whether they have accidently contacted the virus. This way, they will be provided with treatment in a short notice and hopefully, the outbreak will stop.
Also, most patients recover from this infection with no other complications, as it is the mildest form of hepatitis compared with hepatitis B or C.
The vaccine is available for everyone at local pharmacies and doctors recommend two doses administered twice a year to make sure that they will not get infected with the virus.
According to Dr. Virginia Pressler, Health Director, most adolescents and children have already been vaccinated. Plus, it is a good thing that this infection can be prevented by a simple vaccine.
Doctors recommend people to cook foods thoroughly and to wash their hands with warm water and soap after they go to the bathroom to prevent any possible hepatitis A infection.
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