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The danger of viral hepatitis A. How to avoid infection

In 2023, 22 residents of the Lviv region fell ill with viral hepatitis A, compared to 13 last year. Among the patients, adults – 77.3%, children – 22.7%.

According to the World Health Organization, 1.4 million people are diagnosed with viral hepatitis A every year.

Viral hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus; can have both a light and heavy course.

The hepatitis A virus is stable in the external environment and persists:

☛ at a temperature of +4°С - several months,

☛ at a temperature of -20°С - several years,

☛ at room temperature on household items - several weeks,

☛ in water - from 3 to 10 months,

☛ in bowel movements - up to 30 days.

The source of the causative agent of viral hepatitis A is a sick person.


 The main mechanism of infection transmission is fecal-oral - through infected:

☛ water,

☛ food products,

☛ household items,

☛ dirty hands.

The incubation period (from the beginning of infection to the appearance of the first symptoms) lasts from 7 to 50 days (on average, 14 to 28 days).

Symptoms

☛ weakness,

☛ an increase in body temperature,

☛  decrease in appetite,

☛ nausea,

☛ heaviness in the right hypochondrium,

☛  Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and sclera of the eyes), there are non-jaundiced forms,

☛  a change in the nature of stools (darkening of urine and lightening of feces).

After a viral hepatitis A disease, a stable immunity is formed - a person will not get sick a second time.

How to prevent the disease

☛ Use water of guaranteed quality. If you are not sure that the water is safe, use bottled or boiled water for drinking, washing hands, vegetables and fruits, and cooking.

☛  Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing and eating food, after visiting the restroom.

☛ Before consumption, wash vegetables, fruits, greens and berries well with water of guaranteed quality.

☛ Don't buy food at flea markets!

☛ Consume dairy products after heat treatment.

☛ There are vaccines against viral hepatitis A that are among the recommended ones. A full course of 2 doses with an interval of 6 months, in outbreak conditions - 1 dose is enough to not get sick.


Remember! Disease is easier to prevent than to treat!

 

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