Hepatitis A – United States

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122 cases of Hepatitis A are ongoing in Gaston County, North Carolina, USA. These cases are concentrated in persons who use injection or non-injection drugs, homeless individuals, and men who have sex with men.

No infection source has been identified. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and stomach pain.

122 cases have been identified. Two of those were individuals who work with food handling, investigations were launched to determine a link, these cases were isolated.

The government recommends those who have no received the vaccine to do so.

Photo: Micrograph of ground glass hepatocytes, as seen in a chronic hepatitis B infection.

Hepatitis A is an infectious disease of the liver caused by Hepatovirus A. Many cases have few or no symptoms, especially in the young.

When symptoms occur, they typically last 8 weeks and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, fever, and abdominal pain. Acute liver failure may rarely occur, with this being more common in the elderly.

It is usually spread by eating food or drinking water contaminated with infected feces. Undercooked or raw Shellfish are common sources. It may also be spread through close contact with an infectious person.

The hepatitis A vaccine is effective for prevention. Some countries recommend it routinely for children and those at higher risk.

No specific treatment is available, with rest and medications for nausea or diarrhea recommended on an as-needed basis. Infections usually resolve completely and without ongoing liver disease.

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