Hepatitis A

WHAT IS IT? 

Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that can be easily spread from person-to-person.  It can cause liver disease lasting from a few weeks to serious illness lasting several months.  In some cases, it leads to death, but in most cases is self-limiting.  The County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency identified an outbreak in San Diego County, primarily in the homeless and illicit drug use populations, but others have also been infected.

 

HOW DOES IT SPREAD?

Hepatitis A can be spread through ingestion of fecal matter (even in microscopic amounts), by touching objects or eating food that someone with Hepatitis A handled; close person-to-person contact with an infected person; use of recreational drugs, whether injected or not; and sexual contact with someone who has the Hepatitis A infection.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection.  The vaccine is safe for immunocompromised individuals. Call 2-1-1 to find a clinic near you to request the vaccine or contact your doctor. Pregnant women should consult with their physician before getting vaccinated. Click here to see a list of community health centers.  Practice diligent hand washing for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom and before eating.  Don’t share food, drinks, or cigarettes, needles, etc. with others.   Food handlers should also be vaccinated, more information here.

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Information Hotline 800-232-4636 24 hours/day, 7 days/week or visit their website at https://www.cdc.gov.

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